Five Saskatchewan artists were named as recipients of the Saskatchewan Foundation for the Arts Artists Awards. Awards of $6,000 each are offered to artists to create new work or develop works-in-progress over a three-month term. The recipients included Weyburn author Anne Lazurko.
She is receiving the award to help her to work to revise and complete a polished draft of her novel, tentatively titled “Mengeti”, and begin the submission process to find an agent/publisher.
Through her fiction, Lazurko explores how historical truth, or at least the meaning ascribed to historical events, is entirely malleable. As she explained, she is exploring “how we write our own history as needed, as desired, as it redeems us.”
Loosely based on events in her father’s life, her new novel follows the arc of a young Dutchman’s life under occupation and internment in Holland during the Second World War, and shortly after liberation, his deployment to the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) to fight with Dutch forces against the independence movement in the former colony. It is the story of a young man’s journey through two very different wars, from being occupied to holding the gun, from having an enemy to becoming one.
She was given the opportunity to travel to Indonesia and was provided time to write through Saskatchewan Arts Board and Canada Council grants, and this Foundation Award will support the final development of the manuscript and the search for an agent/publisher.
Lazurko’s debut novel, Dollybird, won the Willa Award for Historical Fiction and was shortlisted for the Saskatchewan Fiction Award. Her poetry has appeared in Fast Forward: New Saskatchewan Poets, and is included in an upcoming Frontenac House anthology.
She is a graduate of the Humber College Creative Writing program, has an honours degree in Political Science, and is an award-winning agricultural journalist. She is on the board of Sage Hill Writing, and conducts workshops, readings, and conference presentations across the province. Anne writes from her farm near Weyburn.
The Saskatchewan Foundation for the Arts (SFFA) is a public foundation dedicated solely to creating a legacy of financial support for the arts and artists in Saskatchewan, through the generous financial support of individuals, organizations and corporations. The foundation receives donations, bequests and other planned gifts and invests and manages them in perpetuity to generate income, which is directed to artists primarily through a donor-specified awards program.
The Saskatchewan Foundation for the Arts Artists Awards are administered by the Saskatchewan Arts Board on behalf of the SFFA through an independent jury process and funded through contributions and endowments held in trust by the foundation. Visit www.saskartsfoundation.com for more information.