Jeramy Dodds shortlisted for Griffin Poetry Prize!

The 2009 Canadian and international shortlists for the Griffin Poetry Prize were announced on Tuesday, April 7 by Scott Griffin, founder of The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry and David Young, trustee. We're thrilled to report that Jeramy Dodds's Crabwise to the Hounds was selected with the following citation from the judges:

"'We are only allowed to live / due to some colossal misunderstanding' writes Jeramy Dodds in this astonishing first book. The exploration of this misunderstanding is the subject of Crabwise to the Hounds, and Dodds' language confronts the entropy with some wondrous chaos of its own. There is a cyclonic lexical energy here, deep intelligence, and a serious commitment to craft. His poems build and infold all at once, and opposing forces create incredible tension in them: the reader's mouth, open in awe, next barks a disbelieving laugh. There's more than a little of Buster Keaton here, threading his body through a window in a falling wall: simple marvels that stop you in your own tracks when you begin to think about how they were done. The author seems sui generis at first, but then you sense how lightly he's stepped through the bramble of various inheritances to find his own voice, and on the first try. In 'Making Sure', for instance, Dodds harnesses both Tim Lilburn and William Stafford at the same moment as he's claiming a certain territory for his own now: the natural world occupied by an ineluctable machinery. He builds against it this machine of language in which Glenn Gould negotiates the Danube, Ho Chi Min has gone to 'repair / the night through a colander of stars', the aviary has a recovery wing, and even the act of sipping water is reinvented: 'In stride with the clock's / hypnotics, his throat chops a glass of water / down'. A research archaeologist by training, Dodds is sounding the deeps here. A marvellous debut."

The other nominees are, in Canada: Kevin Connolly for Revolver and A.F. Moritz for The Sentinel; and the international nominees are Mick Imlah (Scotland) for The Lost Leader, Derek Mahon (Ireland) for Life on Earth, C.D. Wright (USA) for Rising, Falling, Hovering and Dean Young (USA) for Primitive Mentor. Congratulations to all shortlisted poets.

A press release from the Griffin Trust states, 'judges Saskia Hamilton, Dennis O'Driscoll and Michael Redhill each read 485 books of poetry, including 33 translations, received from 32 countries around the globe.' It also announces that the finalists will be invited to read in Toronto at the MacMillan Theatre on Tuesday, June 2, 2009. The winners, who each receive C$50,000, will be announced on Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at the ninth annual Griffin Poetry Prize Awards Evening. Tickets for the reading can be purchased here or by calling (905) 618-0420.

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