This year our poetry event features three of the five finalists for the 2016 Governor General’s Award for English Language Poetry.
Joe Denham has a rare ability to make a reader see what he sees and feel what he feels. He has done so in three collections of poetry and a novel. His time as a commercial fisherman has afforded him the opportunity to observe the natural world of the British Columbia coast in a way that most of us never will. His latest book of poetry is Regeneration Machine, an extended eulogy for a lost friend. His most recent project is an album of songs entitled Lost at Sea.
Steven Heighton, with 14 published books to his credit and reams of awards and honours, could be considered the veteran of this trio. His book of poetry, The Waking Comes Late, was the winner of the 2016 Governor General’s Award. His novel, Afterlands, was published in six countries to wide critical acclaim and has recently been optioned for film. His work has appeared in practically every serious literary journal in this country and many more around the world. His works of poetry and fiction, both long and short, have been translated into ten languages. His new novel is The Nightingale Won’t Let You Sleep.
Rachel Rose is currently the Poet Laureate of Vancouver. In addition to her four collections of poetry, she has written works of both fiction and non-fiction. She has won numerous literary awards in all three genres. Her latest book of poetry, and the one for which she was a Governor General’s Award finalist, is Marry & Burn. Her non-fiction book, Gone to the Dogs: Riding Shotgun with the K9 Cops, is slated for publication this year and promises to be a fascinating inside look at the work of these specialized cops and their best friends.