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Professor Sarah Tolmie shortlisted for Griffin Poetry Prize

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Faculty of Arts is very proud to congratulate Professor Sarah Tolmie, who has been shortlisted for the 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize—Canada’s most prestigious honour for works of poetry, and the world’s largest prize for a first edition collection of poetry written in English.

Prof. Tolmie’s nominated book The Art of Dying explores how we fear, honour and attempt to escape death. The collection is described by its publisher, McGill-Queen’s University Press, as “a satirical look at the euphemistic practices of dying today.”

sarah tolmie and her book coverThe Griffin Prize jury stated the collection is a “multifaceted meditation on mortality beneath its deceptively simple lyric surface. […] Tolmie leverages the subversive possibilities of doggerel to upend our assumptions about everything from abortion to the Anthropocene. Wickedly funny, this is work of great intimacy, too…” 

A member of the Department of English Language & Literature and a scholar of the medieval period, Prof. Tolmie is shortlisted along with authors Dionne Brand and Eve Joseph. The Griffin Trust awards two literary prizes annually, each valued at $65,000, and an additional $10,000 to each shortlisted poet who reads at the annual Griffin Poetry Prize Shortlist Readings in Toronto.

“I am delighted!” said Prof. Tolmie of the nomination. “And it’s great news for my press, McGill-Queen’s. Already practicing for the readings...”

Prof. Tolmie will read, alongside fellow nominees on June 5 at Koerner Hall in Toronto. The following night, both the international and Canadian Griffin prizewinners will be celebrated at a gala ceremony.

The Art of Dying is Professor Tolmie’s second collection of poetry; her first, Trio, was shortlisted for the 2016 Pat Lowther Memorial Award.

It’s National Poetry Month! Here is CBC Books’ post on/with Sarah Tolmie.

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