Kingston Heighton author dies | The Kingston Whig Standard

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Kingston poet and writer Steven Heighton, a prominent figure in Kingston’s literary scene, died Tuesday of cancer at the age of 60.

Heighton, who won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry in 2016, has written seven collections of poetry (the last being a selection of old and new poems), four novels, a memoir, and several essays and short stories. He even released an album, “The Devil’s Share”, in 2021.

“We received the news of Steven Heighton’s passing with great sadness and send our deepest condolences to his loved ones,” read a statement from publisher House of Anansi Press and Groundwood Books. “We had the pleasure of working with Steven on both his poetry at House of Anansi and his children’s work at Groundwood Books. We are honored that so many of us have had the opportunity to know Steven and interact with his writings.

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“Steven was a prolific, award-winning author, poet and musician. He was also a good friend and a real talent. We will miss him so much.

Another of its publishers, Biblioasis, posted a note on social media about Heighton’s death.

“It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Steven Heighton, an excellent poet, essayist, short story writer, novelist and an even better man,” @biblioasis tweeted. “He will be missed by all here at Biblioasis, and by so many others. Our condolences to his family and loved ones. »

“It is with deep sadness that we learned of the passing of Steven Heighton, a talented poet, short story writer, novelist and a wonderful person,” Penguin Random House tweeted. “It was a real privilege to share his words with so many readers and to have known him; we are all heartbroken.

Born in Toronto and raised in Red Lake, Ontario, Heighton first moved to Kingston to attend Queen’s University and returned after traveling Asia for a few years.

Since he began writing, Heighton has compiled an impressive list of awards in addition to the Governor General’s Literary Award in 2016 for his fifth collection of poetry, “The Waking Comes Late.”

His first poetry award came in 1990, when he won the Gerald Lampert Prize for Best First Book of Poetry for “Stalin’s Carnival” (he also published “Foreign Ghosts” in 1989). He also won the Petra Kenney Prize for Poetry in 2002 and the PK Page Founder’s Award in 2011. He was named a finalist for the Governor General’s Prize in Poetry in 1995 for ‘The Ecstasy of Skeptics’ and a finalist for the Moth International Poetry Prize. for “Detail of Christmas work, Samos.”

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Heighton has also won several awards for his short stories. In 1991, he won first place in the Prism international short story competition. He was a Trilliam Award finalist for “Flight Paths of the Emperor” in 2003 and for “The Dead Are More Visible” a decade later.

Heighton, who has won five National Magazine Awards for her fiction and poetry, has written four novels, the latest being 2017’s “The Nightingale Won’t Let You Sleep.”

In 2020, he had two books published. One was the memoir “Reaching Mithymna: Among the Volunteers and Refugees on Lesvos,” which would go on to be shortlisted for the 2020 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

The same month that “Reaching Mithymna” came out, her only children’s book, “The Stray and the Stranger,” was also released. This too is the result of his voluntary work abroad in 2015.

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