Langley author, Natasha Silva, has won the 2022 Canadian Book Club Awards in the poetry category for her debut poetry collection, North Star Heart. The book, which was launched last year, explores themes of personal identity, the search for meaning and the connection to the natural world.
Silva was ecstatic to hear the news of her win.
“It was already incredible to simply be chosen as a finalist and it is such an honour to be recognized as the winner by the readers of Canada,” said Silva. “North Star Heart may have begun as a passion project for me but it has grown into something bigger, something readers of all ages and backgrounds have connected to. This award is a symbol of that for me, a symbol of connection in addition to recognition and I hope it will be a conduit for more readers to find themselves in the pages of North Star Heart,” she added.
Her book was chosen from a pool of hundreds of submissions.
The idea for the book came to Silva in 2019, while she was in the final year of her degree.
Initially, she planned on creating four chapbooks, but a solo trip to Smithers in December of 2019, inspired her to present the work as a full-length collection. Silva, who currently resides on a farm in Glen Valley, described the process of completing the book as “having two full-time jobs running back to back for months.”
Silva, who grew up in Langley, first fell in love with poetry while she was a student at the Langley Fine Arts School. As a 12-year-old, she participated in a mentorship program with the Grade 12 writing majors and discovered her passion for poetry. After graduating from the University of British Columbia with a degree in creative writing, Silva spent the next few years working on her debut collection.
“I wrote my book with the purpose of it being accessible to both poetry lovers and poetry beginners. Each word, each syllable, each line has been crafted with this dual purpose in mind.”
Further, Silva hopes to write and publish more books, not only in poetry, but also in fiction.
“I have several ideas for projects and I am currently in the process of deciding which the next one will be.”
According to the program director of CBCA, Kristain Oliveria-Barnes, “CBCA had a record-breaking year with a list of fresh titles from 13 genres, by authors with a wide variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, and experiences.”
In 2022, CBCA became the largest readers choice awards in Canada, doubling the number of genres from the 2021 awards and tripling the number of submissions received in years prior.
Barnes added that she was thrilled to see the diversity in authors, voices, and stories represented on the 2022 winner’s list.
North Star Heart is available at Indigo Langley and online at Amazon.com and Silva’s website natashasilva.ca.
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