Crate makes shortlist for W.O. Mitchell Book Prize

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 4:05pm


Image Caption

Joan Crate examines residential schools in her novel Black Apple. (Photo:

Joan Crate is one of three authors shortlisted for the City of Calgary’s 2016 W.O. Mitchell Book Prize.

Crate’s novel Black Apple, (Simon & Schuster) is the story of a seven-year-old Blackfoot girl removed from her family and sent to a Catholic-run residential school for girls located in rural Alberta.

Crate confronts the complex issues surrounding residential school, both through the inner voice of the young girl and the school’s head nun. This historical novel examines the central themes of faith and forgiveness, still relevant today.

Crate, who is Métis, is an award-winning Calgary-based novelist and poet. She has taught literature and creative writing at Red Deer College for more than 20 years.

Joining Crate on the shortlist are Beth Everest for silent sister: the mastectomy poems (Frontenac House), and Richard Harrison for On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood (Wolsak and Wynn).

The City of Calgary established the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize in honor of the late Calgary writer W.O. Mitchell to recognize literary achievement by Calgary authors.

The $5,000 prize is awarded each year for an outstanding book published in the award year.

The recipient of The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize will be recognized at the Calgary Awards presentation on June 28.