As part of the Victoria Festival of Authors, at an online prize gala on October 4, 2020, Lorna Crozier was awarded the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for her 2019 poetry collection The House the Spirit Builds, which features photographs by Ottawa photographers Peter Coffman and Diane Laundy.
The $5,000 Butler Book Prize is awarded to a Greater Victoria author for the best book published in the preceding year. Speaking of the award and the writers it honours, Victoria mayor Lisa Helps noted that “Victoria’s local authors bring inspiration and joy into our everyday lives, connecting us at this time when it is more challenging to be together.”
The House the Spirit Builds explores human-crafted and natural landscapes from a variety of angles. An image of a slice of light falling across a tablecloth, three oranges in a red bowl, a black beetle on a leaf; poems that speak of moments “when the dragonfly lands and grips the skin/ on the back of your hand” or rain stops falling/ but/ hangs around/ like the shape of lust/ in bedsheets” – the impressions and expression vary, but all are informed by sense of place and aim to take understanding to a more visceral plane.
Lorna Crozier is the author of more than twenty books, including Small Beneath the Sky, The Book of Marvels, and What the Soul Doesn’t Want, which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. She is a professor emerita at the University of Victoria and an officer of the Order of Canada. She lives in North Saanich, BC.
The House the Spirit Builds photographers Peter Coffman and Diane Laundy both live and work in Ottawa, ON. Coffman’s photography has appeared in galleries in Canada and internationally. He is the author and photographer of Camino and the photographer of Exploring the Capital. Laundy has been a photographer for over eighteen years and her work has been exhibited in galleries in Ontario and the Maritimes and is held in both public and private collections.