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An Excerpt from The 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology


Security of the First World

From Congotronic by Shane Book

This place I have not been.
But alone. Other
possibilities perhaps
and even if I am
of two sliding partitions:
the trees’ spacing, tidal
flats punctured by tubular
posts, children—I cannot
arrive at such days,

a fly bumping glass.
Faces may take me
to a station to pick out
hands from stacks of hands.
I continue meaning work
on the metal up into
palatial sound, bricking
a total music of the past.

Water, yes. Include
the hacking text as an excellent
first step, and a flying
picture slashing in ether
flashing a short-lived
shadow. In fact she worked
every day, wedged
between moments of thinking

new cities and a glass bird
furred in monosyllables
no one had bothered
to adopt. She did not
die. A truck came
collecting things and climbing
into the back she entered
a crushingly red sea.

The highly anticipated annual anthology of the best Canadian and international poetry.

Each year, the best books of poetry published in English internationally and in Canada are honoured with the Griffin Poetry Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious and richest literary awards. Since 2001 this annual prize has acted as a tremendous spur to interest in and recognition of poetry, focusing worldwide attention on the formidable talent of poets writing in English. And each year The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology features the work of the extraordinary poets shortlisted for the awards, and introduces us to some of the finest poems in their collections.

In choosing the 2015 shortlist, prize jurors Tim Bowling, Fanny Howe, and Piotr Sommer will consider hundreds of collections published in 2014. The jury members will also write the citations that introduce the seven poets’ nominated works.

Royalties generated from The 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology will be donated to UNESCO’s World Poetry Day, which was created to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard in their communities.

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