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October 11, 2012
Andrew Borkowski winner of the 2012 Toronto Book Award
Andrew J. Borkowski is the winner of the 2012 Toronto Book Award for his collection of short stories, Copernicus Avenue. The announcement was made tonight at an awards ceremony at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram & Bluma Appel Salon.

“Congratulations to Andrew Borkowski for Copernicus Avenue," said City of Toronto representative Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36 Scarborough Southwest). "In his collection of short stories, Mr. Borkowski takes us into the heart of Toronto's Polish community and gives us a unique insight into the diversity that makes up our great city. All of these shortlisted authors have given us exceptional books that evoke Toronto, and they can be very proud of their work.”

“In Copernicus Avenue, Andrew Borkowski has given us beautiful stories rooted firmly in a specific time and place - the Roncesvalles neighbourhood after the Second World War,” said City Librarian Jane Pyper. “From that neighbourhood, the stories widen out to illuminate the complicated lives of people in a new country, creating their futures and dealing with their past. Congratulations, Andrew.”

The 2012 Toronto Book Awards Committee, made up of members Michael Booth, Julia Chan, Tina Edan, Diane Spivak and Kristine Thornley (chair), volunteered their time to read all of the books and select the shortlist and the winner. They commented that Borkowski's writing conjures the smells and streetscapes of the Roncesvalles neighbourhood, and his interwoven short stories reach into the souls of all who have struggled through adversity.

Borkowski was born and raised in Toronto’s Roncesvalles Village. He studied journalism and English literature at Carleton University. As a freelance journalist, he has published articles in the Globe and Mail, the Canadian Forum, Quill & Quire, TV Guide and the Los Angeles Times. His short fiction has appeared in Grain, The New Quarterly and Storyteller magazine. His short story “Twelve Versions of Lech,” which appears in Copernicus Avenue, was nominated for the 2007 Writer’s Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize and published in Journey Prize Stories 19.

Borkowski's collection of short stories, Copernicus Avenue (Cormorant Books), was chosen from a list of finalists that included Dave Bidini for his biography Writing Gordon Lightfoot: The Man, the Music, and the World in 1972 (McClelland & Stewart); Farzana Doctor for her novel Six Metres of Pavement (Dundurn Press); Michele Landsberg for her collection of columns Writing the Revolution (Second Story Press); and Suzanne Robertson for her collection of poetry Paramita, Little Black (Guernica Editions).

This year marks the 38th anniversary of the Toronto Book Awards. Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the Toronto Book Awards honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto. The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money. Each finalist receives $1,000, and the winning author receives an additional $10,000. For more information about the awards and what the jury members said about all of the books, visit

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system. Every year, more than 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow over 33 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. For all the latest buzz about the library follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Bev Kurmey
Protocol Officer, City Clerk’s Office

Tina Srebotnjak
Toronto Public Library



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