The 2021 Banff Mountain Book Festival awards have been announced. The shortlist of category award winners are eligible for the grand prize, which will be announced at Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival in November, where category awards will also be presented to winning authors.
Jon Popowich wrote a story for Gripped magazine called The Role of the Banff Centre in Mountain Literature, in which he discusses the history and future of the important book festival.
“The effects of the festival and the program have been meaningful,” said Popowich. “Over the years, many published, nominated and award -winning titles have been catalyzed there. McDonald said, ‘I’m pretty confident that the festival has showcased a number of authors and helped their careers. And the writing program has done more than that, providing quiet time, discipline, mentoring, and feedback.'”
Climbing Literature: A Feeling for Rock by Sarah-Jane Dobner and published by Dob Dob Dob (UK, 2021).
Heather Dawe, 2021 jury member said, “A Feeling For Rock is a unique take on climbing. The sensuality of movement on the rock, the feelings for place, of sea-cliffs, gritstone and mountain crags. Sarah-Jane Dobner explores in fresh ways and is not afraid to question perceived norms. Provocative pieces, climber interviews and cartoons sit alongside poetry, prose and photography that show and describe the beauty she sees and feels in the rock landscapes around her. Sarah-Jane makes this eclectic mix work, binding it together with her love for the climbing life.”
Guidebook: Irish Peaks by Mountaineering Ireland (Ireland, 2020).
“A wonderful showcase of the rugged beauty of the island of Ireland’s upland landscapes, Irish Peaks made me want to head for these hills,” said Heather Dawe. “This book combines detailed route guides to the highest 101 mountains with incredible photography and comprehensive guides to their natural and hill-walking history. Ireland is a country where access to the mountains is not a given. Irish Peaks shares the invaluable route knowledge of local experts with the visitor; clearly mapping and explaining established lines into and over the ground. This is an inspirational guidebook that will surely entice many hill-goers to further explore these mountains.”
Mountain Literature (Non Fiction): Structured Chaos by Victor Saunders and published by Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2021).
Bernadette McDonald, esteemed Canadian mountain author and jury member, said, “In his unique, conversational style, Victor Saunders has taken us on a wonderful journey; sometimes heart-breaking, often hilarious. His observations are surgically precise, his evocative descriptions are skillfully penned and his personal reflections are unstintingly honest. From his early awkward years to his many impressive climbs in the Great Ranges, what stands out above all in Structured Chaos is the value he places on friendship.”
Mountain Image: The Great Sea Cliffs of Scotland by Guy Robertson and published by Scottish Mountaineering Press (UK, 2020).
“The outrageous beauty of Scotland’s sea cliffs had this jury checking weather forecasts and flight schedules to Scotland’s ragged coastline, said McDonald. “The spectacular photographs are richly supported by exciting first-hand climbing tales, lyrical natural history prose and some fine poetry from Stuart Campbell. A visual and literary gift.”