I got a perplexing call this morning from Vera DeWaard, Managing Editor of Descant. She wanted to let me know that the winner of the Winston Collins / Descant Prize for Best Canadian Poem was soon being announced. Well, I thought, that’s awfully personal servic–uhhhh. Sorry, what?
A huge thank you to the judges, the ridiculously prolific Mark Kingwell and the sickeningly talented Leanne Shapton, who gave this unestablished poetling and his delinquent poem, “Rite,” a shot. (They call the poem “witchy”! Best feedback ever, I’m thinking.) I’m not within reach of the Canadian poetry scene’s pulse (it’s a very crowded bedside), but judging from the most recent winners–John B. Lee (2013 & 2007), Heidi Garnett (2012), and Barbara Schott (2011)–I’ve just entered into rather intimidating company.
I’ve been invited to read “Rite” at the next Descant launch in Toronto this spring, so pack your bags, folks (eventually, I mean): drinks on me (but not really).
Edit: Visit the Descant blog to read Co-Editor Lesley Kenny’s phone interview with me, in which I call Seamus Heaney boring, Derek Walcott mean, and Joseph Brodsky dreamy.