Annal: 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize – Canadian

Results of the Griffin Poetry Prize in the year 2013.

Book:What's the Score?: 99 Poems

What's the Score?: 99 Poems

David W. McFadden

The often outrageous and always wise follow-up to 2008’s Governor General’s Award–nominated Be Calm, Honey shows David W. McFadden at his most inquisitive and provocative. Here you’ll find ninety-nine poems full of surprises by a Canadian long-distance poet in his sixth decade of writing, a writer who never rests on his laurels or allows himself to become complacent. This is a book full of mystics and Golden Age movie stars, friends of McFadden and long-dead philosophers, and their tales are all told in the poet’s deceptively plainspoken voice.

Book:Personals: Poems

Personals: Poems

Ian Williams

These are not love poems. These are almost-love poems. Jittery, plaintive, and fresh, Personals is voiced through a startling variety of speakers who continually rev themselves up to the challenge of connecting with others, often to no avail. Williams writes in traditional poetic forms: ghazals, a pantoum, blank sonnets, mock-heroic couplets, and creates forms of his own: poems that spin into indeterminacy, poems that don’t end. With a deft hand and playful ear, Williams entices the reader to stumble alongside his characters as they search, again and again, for intimacy, for love, for each other.

Book:Sailing to Babylon: Poems

Sailing to Babylon: Poems

James Pollock

Sailing to Babylon is the first full-length collection from James Pollock. These are poems of exploration and discovery of the self and the universal. Closer to home, there is the schoolboy fascination with the English teacher; the grandmother’s old Bible; a Dantean-style extended account of a hiking adventure with a young son, fully realized in terza rima. Further out in time and geography, Pollock muses on figures from Canadian history—explorers Henry Hudson, David Thompson, and John Franklin; pioneering literary theorist Northrop Frye; and pianist Glenn Gould. Each of these quests has accompanying trials or triumphs. This is a collection full of surprises and pleasures, with a treasure-chest mapped for discovery in “an image of the world/ made small enough to hold inside the mind.” A book that has the power to take you “to the place/ exactly where you always meant to go.”

Views: 313 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.019 sec