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Local News: BELOVED BLACK BOOKSTORE CELEBRATES THE BEST IN YOUTH WITH NEW 'BURLA' Black Habits Articles TORONTO - - One of Canada's most treasured bookstores will be ending the year with a new beginning: for the first time the Burke's Literary Awards (BURLAs) will be awarding a young, emerging literary talent in Toronto.

The 2nd Annual BURLAs will be taking place on Saturday December 10, 2005. The occasion will be celebrated at 'Burke's Books and Picture Framing' located at 873 St. Clair Avenue West (near Oakwood Avenue). Author and poet Pamela Mordecai will be receiving a BURLA. Acclaimed writer George Elliott Clarke will appear as a special guest, reading from his new collection, Illuminated Verses. CBC Radio's Nick Davis and Educator Linette Spence will be hosting. The event is free and open to the public. It all begins at 7 p.m.

For more than a decade, 'Burke's Books and Picture Framing' has served as a meeting place for Toronto's Black community. An issue raised in many discussions is the importance of education--a belief shared by The Burke's Charitable Foundation. In support of that belief, the BURLAs will be recognizing a student of African-Caribbean heritage attending Oakwood Collegiate Institute. The financial award will be offered to a student who shows promise in the literary arts.

"We know there are many students trying hard to excel in their education," says Rita Burke owner of Burke's Books and Picture Framing. "Through the award, The Burke's Charitable Foundation hopes to inspire and encourage some of these young people."

The BURLAs launched in December 2004 as the bookstore marked its 10th anniversary. Husband and wife team Sam and Rita Burke founded the BURLAs as a way to profile and uplift the work of Canadian authors of African and Caribbean heritage. The inaugural award was given to Jamaican born novelist Horane Smith. This year marks the launch of the new award for student achievement.

"We plan to expand the award to recognize many more young people across the city," assures Rita Burke. "I am overwhelmed at how supportive the larger community has been for the BURLAs. This proves that many of us want to support our literary talents."

The BURLAs are administered by The Burke's Charitable Foundation. The Foundation is committed to facilitating positive changes in the lives of children, youth and families by embracing and encouraging literacy.

Illuminated Verses celebrates Black beauty, through the poetry of George Elliott Clarke. Illuminated Verses is one of the first titles launched by Canadian Scholars Press under its new Kellom imprint. Kellom features the work of male authors of novels, short fiction, cultural criticism, plays, poetry, memoirs and biographies.
Posted on Wednesday, December 07 @ 13:40:43 UTC by jcohen

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