Mennonites represented at Manitoba Book Awards

June 29, 2023

Jonathan Dyck’s debut graphic novel, Shelterbelts, won top prize at the 2023 Manitoba Book Awards. Dyck is an illustrator, designer and cartoonist who attends Hope Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. His book, published in May 2022 by Conundrum Press, won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and co-won the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book at the provincial awards in June.

Shelterbelts tells a series of interconnected stories about Hespeler, a fictional town in rural Southern Manitoba that is facing change. The people of this Mennonite community wrestle with faith, freedom, pipelines and LGBTQ+ issues.

Dyck graduated from Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in 2008 and has received numerous awards for his work, which has appeared in the Walrus and the Globe and Mail.

Mennonites were well-represented at this year’s Manitoba Book Awards. Sarah Ens was also nominated for Book of the Year for her second volume, Flyway. Di Brandt’s poetry collection, The Sweetest Dance On Earth, was nominated for the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. The Russian Daughter, written by Sarah Klassen and published by CMU Press, was a contender for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction.

—Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe


Jonathan Dyck won Book of the Year award. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

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