Results of the Griffin Poetry Prize in the year 2005.
In Roo Borson’s new watershed collection, it is as though language were being taught to increase its powers of concentration, to hearken simultaneously to the fully impinged-upon senses, the reflecting mind with its griefs and yearnings, the heart with its burden of live memory. Always “the line bends as the river bends,” a quick ever-adjusting music that carries in its current those cherished, perishable, details of eye and ear, mid-life reflections on loss and home, the subtle shifts in season suddenly made strange and re-awakened. Recurrently, probingly, the line returns to the place of poetry in our lives. In the spirit of Basho’s famous journey to the far north, Borson’s “short journey” reminds us of the role of poetry in shaping and deepening our engagement with the world.
The poetry of Don McKay is renowned for its piquant wit, lyric emotion, and pitch-perfect vernacular music. His work has received national acclaim and the recognition of many awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, which he has won twice, and, most recently, from the prestigious and internationally known Griffin Poetry Prize, for which his most recent book was a finalist.
Camber is the lilt in the physics of flight, the anti-gravitational alchemy of both wings and poetry. It is also at the heart of the poetry of Don McKay. Spanning three decades, and drawing on all of McKay’s major collections, this selection distills the essence of his craft and provides an overview of, and an ideal introduction to, the work to date of one of Canada’s most celebrated poets.
George Bowering has been an inimitable, witty, eclectic and electrifying voice in Canadian letters for decades. He has published more than 40 books in a variety of genres and has won the Governor General’s Award twice. But it is his poetry—thoughtful, precise, lyrical, irreverent, flaunting convention and blending styles and genres—that is the touchstone of Bowering’s work. Changing on the Fly collects the best of Bowering’s poetry in one fascinating, revelatory and immensely readable volume.
“Writing a poem is like paring an apple. If you can do it in one continuous motion, it will be very satisfactory.” —George Bowering