THE JURY OF THE THIRTEENTH
RBC TAYLOR PRIZE
CORAL ANN HOWELLS
Coral Ann Howells is a British based university professor and critic who is a specialist in English Canadian literature and culture. A graduate of the University of Queensland, Australia, and with a Ph.D. from the University of London, she taught for many years at the University of Reading and was Visiting Exchange Professor at the University of Guelph 1981-2. Since then she has published extensively on contemporary Canadian literature, especially fiction by women, and has held Visiting Professorships in Europe and India. Now a Professor Emerita, she is also a Senior Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies, University of London. She was the first woman President of the British Association for Canadian Studies, a member of the selection committee for Canada Memorial Scholarships, and a board member of the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the UK. Proudly, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Recently she edited The Cambridge Companion to Margaret Atwood and co-edited with Eva-Marie Kroller The Cambridge History of Canadian Literature, which is currently being translated into Japanese. She is now co-editing with a Canadian and an Australian the final volume of The Oxford History of the Novel in English. She lives in London, England.
James Polk is a well-known Toronto editor, and was the long time editorial director of House of Anansi Press, where he worked with such authors as Roch Carrier, Marian Engel, Northrop Frye, George Grant, Dennis Lee — and also with Charles Taylor on several titles, including Six Journeys and Radical Tories. With a PhD in English from Harvard University, he has taught there, as well as in Boston, Idaho, Alberta, and Toronto. He is the author of a comic novel, a non-fiction book on Canadian wilderness writers, and a play about a small Toronto publishing house, Vanity Press, which was produced at Tarragon Theatre. His short stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and Mademoiselle, and he has published many articles, reviews and introductions on Canadian writers and writing. As senior policy advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Culture, he was instrumental in creating the French Trillium Prize, the Premier's Award for the Arts, and the Book Publishing Tax Credit. He recently received the Janice Handford Award for his contribution to literary publishing, and has served on many granting juries for the arts. A consultant for the cultural industries, he is also a member of the Toronto Dance Theatre School board of directors and of The Toronto Legacy Plaques Project, researching such notables as John Weinzweig, Erik Bruhn, and Amelia Earhart. Trained as a pianist, he still practices and will play at parties. He lives in Toronto.
ANDREW WESTOLLis an award-winning author, journalist and lecturer based in Toronto. A former primatologist-in-training, Westoll’s first book, The Riverbones, is a travelogue set in the remote jungles of Suriname, where he once spent a year studying wild troops of capuchin monkeys. Westoll’s second book, the national bestselling The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, is the biography of a family of chimpanzees who were rescued from a medical research laboratory and retired to an animal sanctuary on the south shore of Montreal. The Chimps won The 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, was a finalist for several other major book awards and was named a book of the year by The Globe and Mail, Amazon.ca, Quill & Quire, and CTV’s Canada AM. Westoll is a Gold National Magazine Award winner, holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and recently joined the English faculty at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where he teaches creative writing and literature. He lives in Toronto.