Well, after the drought, a deluge. Just learned that two Signal books were nominated for the Governor General's Award for Poetry: Circus by Michael Harris and Boxing the Compass by Richard Greene.
I honestly can't remember the last time a press had such a strong showing in one category. I'm tremendously proud of these books, especially when you consider the quality of what they were up against.
Here' s how the jury rated them:
Boxing the Compass includes the long, remarkable narrative poem "Over the Border," a poem of chance meetings on American buses and trains. Richard Greene’s writing is restrained in the best sense, striking no indulgent or false notes. One has the impression of a nation in deep trouble as witnessed by a traveler of sympathy and concern.Congratuations to the other nominees: Daryl Hine, Sandy Pool and Melanie Siebert. It's a special honour to share the list with Hine, who is as underrated as they come (Jason Guriel has a very fine essay on him).
Circus speaks to the knife-edge of anarchy that underlies the civilization we are asked to accept. Michael Harris tells us that life often disappoints; that sometimes the ridiculous is sublime and sometimes it is just ridiculous. He reveals the unpredictability and mess behind the glitz, glamour and grease-paint of life.
Sadly, I'm not familiar with Pool and Siebert's poetry. I'm going to remedy that immediately and order their books today. You should too.