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October 20, 2008
Glen Downie wins the 2008 Toronto Book Awards
Glen Downie was named the winner of the 2008 Toronto Book Awards for his work of poetry, Loyalty Management, published by Wolsak and Wynn Publishers, tonight at a reception at the Toronto Reference Library.

“I want to congratulate Glen Downie as well as the other finalists for their outstanding achievements,” said Mayor David Miller. “Through the Toronto Book Awards program, these authors’ books support literary culture and give all Torontonians a unique perspective about our diverse city.”

Toronto Public Library Chief Librarian Jane Pyper added, “These were five terrific and very different books that really did give us ‘a new read on Toronto.’ The library is very happy to have partnered with the City on these awards, and I want to add my congratulations to all the finalists, and especially to the winner, Glen Downie.”

The 2008 Toronto Book Awards Committee, made up of volunteer members Camilla Holland, Alexander Greer, Brian Jantzi, Sarah Rotering and Herman Silochan, read more than 60 submissions. Describing Downie’s poetry as “undeniably Torontonian,” they noted “his poems travel nimbly through our old Victorian homes, up the trees in our yards, down our streets and into other lands. This book evokes vibrant images of objects and relationships, filtered through layers of immense kindness, a shrewd eye for deceit, and an established technical skill. These poems are richly textured and utterly readable.”

Downie’s work was chosen from a list of five finalists that also included Elspeth Cameron for her biography, And Beauty Answers: The Life of Frances Loring and Florence Wyle (Cormorant Books); David Chariandy for his novel, Soucouyant (Arsenal Pulp Press); Elyse Friedman for her novella, Long Story Short (House of Anansi Press Inc.); and Barbara Gowdy for her novel, Helpless (Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.).

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 with this year’s finalists receiving $1,000 each and the winning author receiving $10,000. For more information about the winner and the finalists, visit

The Toronto Public Library is the world’s busiest urban public library system. Every year, more than 16 million people visit the 99 branches and borrow more than 29 million items. To learn more about the Toronto Public Library, visit or call Answerline at 416-393-7131.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Bev Kurmey, Acting Senior Protocol Officer, City Clerk’s Office, 416-392-4674,
Michaela Cornell, Toronto Book Awards Publicist, 647-274-6112,
Tina Srebotnjak, Manager, Program Development, Toronto Public Library, 416-393-7098,



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