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TORONTO, September 27, 2012 --- The International Festival of Authors (IFOA) announced at a luncheon today that Austin Clarke is this year’s recipient of the $10,000 Harbourfront Festival Prize.

With several accolades to his name including the Order of Canada, the W.O. Mitchell Prize and the Martin Luther King Junior Award for Excellence in Writing, Austin Clarke was selected for this year’s annual Harbourfront Festival Prize based on the merits of his published work and his contributions to fostering the next generation of literary talent. Clarke—who was selected by a jury comprised of Denise Donlon (Television Host and Producer), Dianne Rinehart (Books and Visual Arts Editor, Toronto Star) and Geoffrey E. Taylor (Director, IFOA) —said of his win:

"I rejoiced when I saw that Authors at Harbourfront Centre had named me this year's winner of the Harbourfront Festival Prize. I did not come to this city on September 29, 1959, as a writer. I came as a student. However, my career as a writer buried any contention of being a scholar and I thank Authors at Harbourfront Centre for saving me from the more painful life of the 'gradual student.' It is an honour to be part of such a prestigious list of authors."

Established in 1984, previous Prize recipients include Dionne Brand, Wayson Choy, Christopher Dewdney, Helen Humphreys, Paul Quarrington, Peter Robinson, Seth, Jane Urquhart, and Guy Vanderhaege. The prize will be presented to Clarke on the closing night of the IFOA (Oct. 27) at 8pm in the Fleck Dance Theatre, followed by readings and a discussion by the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalists. Tickets are $25 for the general public.

For more information about the Harbourfront Festival Prize and IFOA, and to purchase tickets, call the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416-973-4000 or visit


About IFOA:
Each October, the IFOA presents a wide range of readings, round table discussions, onstage interviews, book signings and a number of special events featuring the most exciting authors in contemporary literature. Administered by Authors at Harbourfront Centre, this year’s 33rd annual IFOA takes place from October 18 to 28, 2012.

Jennifer Asselin:; 416-973-4395
Nicole Baute:; 416-973-5836

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