Congratulations to all the nominees and winners of the recent Saskatchewan Book Awards.
I was particularly pleased to see Amy Jo Ehman’s Prairie Feast: a writer’s journey home for dinner win the First Book Award. Ehman’s book comes out of her blog, written while she and her husband pursued a prairie version of the 100 mile diet, eating Saskatchewan-based foods for one year. Filled with wisdom, information, and recipes, Ehman’s book is a lovely celebration of the connection between people and place, in its most basic format — where does/should our food come from?
As a local, regional, provincial and place historian, I echo Ehman’s interest in the intimate connection between human life, and the place in which we live. The visceral connection can go unnoticed at times — until you step outside your door. The weather, the roads, the time of day, the landscape, your neighbors, and the people that you meet as you go about your day are — no matter what you do for a living — the context within which we all live our daily lives.
A few years back, I took some writing workshops with Amy Jo Ehman, and have admired her tenacity in building a substantial and recognized writing career here in Saskatchewan. Her contributions to the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix and the lovely magazine, Prairies North deserve specific praise. Ms. Ehman’s encouragement and great advice in those writing workshops have helped me bring my academic studies to the broader public, through newspaper and magazine writing. Thanks, and congratulations, Ms. Ehman.
And congratulations to all who took part in the awards. I look forward to some great reading.