It's our great pleasure this afternoon to tell you that John Metcalf, known and beloved to many of you as a writer, mentor, editor, and friend, was named Editor of the Year last night at the 2014 Libris Awards. The Libris Awards, presented annually by the Canadian Booksellers Association to the extraordinary professionals who deliver great books to Canadian readers, are nominated and voted on by members of the Canadian bookselling community. On behalf of John and ourselves we would like to offer our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to everyone at the CBA for your support.
It's difficult to sum up the achievements of the man whom Alice Munro has described as authoring "some of the very best stories ever published in this country." As an editor he is Argus-eyed, attentive, inexhaustible, challenging, and compassionate. He was Senior Editor at the Porcupine's Quill until 2005, he's now Fiction Editor at Biblioasis, and he's worked tirelessly on numerous projects besides (including Best Canadian Stories). Beside Clark Blaise, Ray Smith, Ray Fraser, and Hugh Hood, Metcalf was a Montreal Storyteller; he's the author of more than a dozen works of fiction and non-fiction (including the remarkable Going Down Slow and the inflammatory Kicking Against the Pricks); he's also devoted much of his life to discovering, encouraging, and supporting talented young writers, frequently pro bono and on his own time. We can say without exaggeration that without his dedication—which has lasted a lifetime—Canadian fiction, and particularly Canadian short fiction, would be a far poorer thing. We feel very strongly that John Metcalf has raised the standards for what short stories can and should do in this country.
If you'd like to read more about John's life and work, we encourage you to take a look at his memoir, available in two volumes: vol. 1, An Aesthetic Underground, was originally published by Thomas Allen in 2003 and will be reissued in paperback by Biblioasis this fall, while vol. 2, Shut Up He Explained, is available to order via our website or our distributors (see below). If you'd like to order vol. 1 in the original hardcover, feel free to call us at 519-968-2206, and we can help you out.
On behalf of the press we'd like to offer our congratulations to John's deserving co-nominees, Jennifer Lambert of Harper Collins Canada and Nicole Winstanley of Penguin; to Groundwood Books, Small Press Publisher of the Year; Penguin Canada, Publisher of the Year; Joseph Boyden, Author of the Year; Blue Heron Books, Bookstore of the Year; to Stuart McLean, for his Lifetime Achievement Award; and to all the other deserving book stalwarts who were honoured last night. We at the Bibliomanse salute you.