Pedlar Press, a local publishing house, publishes fine books and is no stranger to book awards. Yesterday, it was announced Pedlar has two books in the running for this year’s Trillium Awards: Barry Dempster’s The Outside World (in the English fiction category) and Souvankham Thammavongsa’s Light, in the poetry category. The Trillium Awards recognize outstanding books by residents of Ontario. Winners will be announced June 17th. The other nominated authors in the poetry category are Austin Clarke, for Where the Sun Shines Best (Guernica Editions), and Adam Dickinson, for The Polymers (House of Anansi Press).

“Paris, 1:00 A.M.” by Souvankham Thammavongsa

A young man
in the courtyard is singing

 

I don’t know what
he looks like
but he has a good voice, a young voice

 

He’s singing Michael Jackson’s
Man in the Mirror

 

Just the chorus

 

It makes me think of
a Michael Jackson button I had in Grade Two

 

I hid it in my coat pocket
and took it out to kiss it whenever
no one was looking

 

After some time
his face began to disappear

 

My mother always said
never to love a thing too much