Charles Lillard Founders' Award for Creative Nonfiction

2016 Inaugural Winner: Matt Rader

The University of Victoria, on behalf of The Malahat Review, is pleased to announce that the recipient of the inaugural Charles Lillard Founders' Award for Creative Nonfiction is Matt Rader for his lyric essay, "from The Lives of North American Horses," which appeared in the Malahat's Winter 2015 issue (193), Mapping Creative Nonfiction in Canada. Rader's piece was chosen for this award by Theresa Kishkan.

Established in 2016, the Charles Lillard Founders' Award recognizes the best work of creative nonfiction (for example, a memoir, a lyric essay, travel writing, or personal essay, among others) to have appeared in The Malahat Review in the previous calendar year.

In her longer citation on Rader's piece, Kishkan explains, "I returned to Matt Rader's lyrical extract, 'from The Lives of North American Horses'….  At first reading, it's a collection of material about horses, organized at random—horses in wild and civilized spaces, actual and liminal. Or is it? On second reading, I saw how elegantly it was curated, its sense of the historical present; a linear narrative moving through the herd as a parent and children observe horses in pastures…. There are deep philosophical questions in this piece: 'How long must something go feral before it becomes wild again?' I kept returning to 'from The Lives of North American Horses.' It does reward careful reading. It is attentive to detail and language, and also to mystery."

Matt RaderMatt Rader's most recent book is Desecrations (McClelland and Stewart, 2016), a collection of poetry that contains a version of "from The Lives of American Horses." A previous winner of the Malahat's Jack Hodgin's Founders' Award for Fiction, his work has appeared in publications around the world. He teaches Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

Theresa Kishkan's books include Patrin, Mnemonic: A Book of Trees, and Phantom Limb. Her work has been nominated for three B.C. Book Prizes, Relit Awards, several Pushcart Prizes, National Magazine Awards, and Phantom Limb won the Creative Nonfiction Collective’s inaugural Readers’ Choice Award. She is currently at work on a series of connected essays about math, love, coyote music, family history, and horticulture; the working title is Euclid’s Orchard. She makes her home on the Sechelt Peninsula with her husband John Pass.

For more information about the Charles Lillard Founders' Award for Creative Nonfiction and how you may support it through a donation, please email The Malahat Review.

Stay tuned for an interview with Matt Rader on his winning CNF piece.