The Nelson and District Arts Council and Elephant Mountain Lit Fest are thrilled to announce this year’s recipient of the Richard Carver Award for emerging writers. Writer and poet Ellen Burt has been chosen by an arms-length jury to receive the award this year.

Ellen’s letters of nomination highlighted the quality of her work, community involvement and support of the literary community. From her nomination letter: “Her writing draws the reader into every scene and character and emotion. Ellen is a naturalist! Her connection with the mountains, valleys, plants and animals is always present. Ellen is a poet! Spoken Word is her art and she wins because her poetry and delivery comes from her heart.” An arms-length jury reviewed Ellen’s work and one juror stated “Ellen’s dedication to sharing her story through the written word has been an ongoing inspiration to the community of writers and poets alike. The way she performs her spoken word poetry shocks crowds and is welcomed deeply into the heart. She reminds us, who read and listen to her work, of our innate connection and integral humanity.”

The award was handed out at an event during Elephant Mountain Lit Fest in September by former recipient Sarah Beauchamp.

After Richard passed away in 2009, the Arts Council founded this award, which has been awarded eight times. Children’s author Darcee O’Hearne was the recipient in 2013, followed by poet Jane Byers in 2014. In 2015 Elephant Mountain Lit Fest became a partner in the award, which that year was split between two deserving authors, Susan Dancer and Avi Silberstein. The recipients in 2016 were Donna Macdonald and Alanda Greene. In 2017 the recipient was Diana Morita Cole. In 2018 the Carver Award “honoured longtime literary advocates Morty Mint and Ernest Hekkanen, and in 2019 the award returned to recognition of an emerging writer, poet Rayya Liebich. In 2020 author Danielle LaRocque was honoured. In 2021 Sarah Beauchamp was the recipient of the award with an honorary mention going to Vera Maloff. The recipient in 2022 was poet Zaynab Mohammed.

Richard Carver was invested in the community as a lover of the arts and the Kootenays. He was a mover and shaker on the board of the Nelson and District Arts Council, and the primary sponsor of this award named in his honour.

For more information, please visit the Nelson and District Arts Council website at Inquiries may be sent to:

Nelson and District Arts Council