Mikko Harvey wins RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award
Mikko Harvey has won the RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award for unpublished writers aged 17-30. The award, generously funded by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, includes a $2,000 cash prize and mentorship from a prominent Canadian writer.
Harvey is the second poet to win the New Voices Award. Jurists Laura Broadbent, Michael DeForge and Nick Mount selected his work from a record number of submissions, and Richard Greene, winner of the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, will serve as Harvey’s mentor for a one-year term.
“Words matter,” said Tasleem Thawar, PEN Canada’s Executive Director. “The RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award shines a light on young writers whose words have power, and this year we are delighted to award the prize to Mikko Harvey.”
Harvey is currently based in New York City. His work has appeared in Montreal-based Maisonneuve Magazine and Lemon Hound, and his debut collection of poetry, Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit, is forthcoming from Anansi.
“Writing poetry is so often a private activity, and to be recognized in this public way by PEN Canada is a tremendous gift that I won’t soon forget,” said Harvey. “What makes this award especially unique is the mentorship aspect. This is an award—and an organization—that truly encourages the development of young writers.”
The RBC Emerging Artists Project provides financial support to organizations like PEN Canada to develop young talent. The 2016 winner of the RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award, Toronto-based writer Laura Legge, went on to win the 2016 PEN International New Voices Award, secure representation by a literary agent, and is now writing her first novel.