Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Griffin Poetry Prize

Since I've talked a little about Gil Adamson, it's only fair to share something about her spouse, poet, editor and arts journalist Kevin Connolly. Especially since he has just made the shortlist for the Griffin Poetry Prize! This is a major prize, awarding one Canadian and one International poet $50,000 (Cdn.). Julie Wilson over at Seen Reading has posted a wonderful collection of recordings by this year's shortlist nominees as well as a couple of past nominees and judges. Take a listen!

And take a moment to read this poem, one of the selections from his nominated book, Revolver.
You can also find this poem, as well as a few links to great interviews with Connolly, at his Griffin Poetry Prize profile.


Hello, lady people! Pigeons are good.
Winter is good. Stoolpigeons are good –
though they’re in league with the government,
trying to kill all spontaneity.
Hello everyone! Time to start losing.
Losing is good. Losing is what we came
here to do, and it’s going quite well,
thanks for asking.

This morning I was passed by a minivan,
“Someday” printed on the vanity plate.
I wonder what she meant? “Someday soon,
goin' with you” or “I’m gonna get out of
here someday?” or “Someday my prince,
or a real rain’s going to come.”

Given the words in advance, it
might all be easier. Interpretation –
that’s where the problems start.
Take counterpane, for an example.
Sounds like a magician’s con,
a glass counter you’d bounce coins
off, but really it means something
comforting – a blanket to keep you warm.

Coins bounce off the counterpane
and under that blanket, where they exist
now in the mind only, and so will multiply
at my request. Nothing too greedy,
enough for coffee and a newspaper,
somewhere I can look for a job, anything
to reverse the recent downturn.

People like people who stand for things.
Like Shakespeare arrived at Ellis Island with
a trussed-up suitcase and the equivalent of
$3.50 in badly out-of-date currency.
And look where he ended up.
A real job – I’d like that.
People like people who have jobs.
People like people who stand for things.

From Revolver, by Kevin Connolly
Copyright © 2008 Kevin Connolly


  1. Seen Reading is Julie Wilson's wonderful website, just to clarify. Lots of great stuff to listen to this month.

    Thanks for the props


  2. Whoops- I've been following Julie's work and don't know how that typo went uncaught! Thanks - I guess that's why you're the extraordinary editor ;)


Thanks for stopping by ~ I always enjoy hearing your comments so please feel free to leave some!