Jun 06, 2019

By Christine Ross

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Poetry lovers gathered at an event in Toronto to hear authors shortlisted for this year’s Griffin Poetry Prize read from their nominated books. It was an emotional ride for the captive audience who experienced dark themes to the hilarious. Toronto poet Dionne Brand read from her nominated book The Blue Clerk touching on themes of politics, race and gender.

Pared down from a staggering 500 entries, the jury chose these four International and three Canadian books. Chicago-based poet Daniel Borzutsky’s book has been described as both elegant and chilling. In Lake Michigan he writes about mourning the city he loves with its rising racism and economic violence.

The winners, one International and one Canadian, will be announced Thursday night. To learn more about the nominated poets, visit the website and listen to a report here.

Book: The Blue Clerk
Poet: Dionne Brand

Book: Quarrels
Poet: Eve Joseph

Book: The Art of Dying
Poet: Sarah Tolmie

Book: The Perseverance
Poet: Raymond Antrobus

Book: Lake Michigan
Poet: Daniel Borzutzky

Book: Autobiography of Death
Translator: Don Mee Choi
Poet: Kim Hyesoon

Book: Negative Space
Translator: Ani Gjika
Poet: Luljeta Lleshanaku

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