W.H. New’s collection of poems, YVR, won the City of Vancouver Book Award, which is exactly how it should have ended. I was a student at UBC when W.H. New was teaching, and he was a bonafide legend. I’ll admit I never registered for one of his classes because I was–no joke–afraid of him. Or more specifically, I was afraid of his reputation. What if he thought I was dumb or silly or lazy? What if W. H. New thought that I should drop out immediately and become a moderately successful cat lady, instead of the author I desperately wished to be?
In my view, it was better to avoid that scenario altogether. And so, I deprived myself of a learning opportunity because of anxiety. Never do that, kids. That’s my tip for the day.
In all seriousness, I wanted to congratulate Dr. New, but my son had begun running in circles in the lobby like a wild thing, so I had to leave before the ceremony was finished. Too bad, because I was deeply honoured that my book was on a shortlist with YVR. And I wish I could have told him so.
So this post is really just a way for me to tip my hat to W.H. New and to tell him that I wouldn’t have had the award ceremony conclude in any other way. Congratulations.