Griffin Shortlist morning

Hey folks.

Your shortlisted titles for the 2010 Griffin Poetry Prizes.

International Shortlist

Grain • John Glenday

A Village Life • Louise Glück
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Sun-fish • Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
The Gallery Press

Cold Spring in Winter • Susan Wicks, translated from the French
written by Valérie Rouzeau
Arc Publications

Canadian Shortlist:

The Certainty Dream • Kate Hall
Coach House Books

Coal and Roses • P.K. Page
The Porcupine’s Quill

Pigeon • Karen Solie
House of Anansi Press

Some quick thoughts on the Canadian list, as I’m a nationalistic philistine who’s only read one of the International titles: After last year’s Canadian list went XY, XY, XY, the jury has flipped it and revealed three female poets. I feel that lots of people will (privately and, perhaps, publicly) say dumb things about this in the weeks to come, so I will not. Let’s let the strength of both lists be the message, shall we?….Woot for The Certainty Dream! This is, to my count, the third debut collection to make the Canadian list, after Solie’s Short Hall Engine and Dodds’ Crabwise to the Hounds. Both of those books rode something of a micro-zeitgeist of hype, with everyone flapping their gums about their “next big thing” status. Hall’s book just sort of quietly got there. Nice stuff….No cross-over between the five books on the GG shortlist last fall and these three. That sounds fine to me. Share the love. I hope, though, that the two GG nominees who write critical work as well (Queyras and, especially, Starnino) got a fair shake from the jury…I haven’t read the P.K. Page book, but, at the risk of being an asshole, I wonder where it ranked in the judges’ pantheon before she passed away. The politics of the posthumous shortlistings are often tricky. Sometimes they’re a fitting and noble capper on a career of great exceptionality. Other times they’re an awkward and hasty attempt to bring all of the late artist’s career under the umbrella of a single book….Anyway, I’ll take Solie FTW. I don’t think the jury will want to put that kind of historical pressure on Coal and Roses, and neither of the past two debut collections managed to win, despite their hype. Plus, it seems like about time to give Karen Solie a national award, doesn’t it?

Explore posts in the same categories: Awards, Book Industry, Canadian Literature

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