The award is named in honour of Archibald Lampman (1861 – 1899), one of Canada’s finest nineteenth-century poets. Lampman moved to Ottawa in 1882, and much of his poetry was inspired by the National Capital region.
The 2013 Archibald Lampman Award will be presented on October 22, at the Shenkman Arts Centre, in conjunction with the City of Ottawa Book Awards. Congratulations to the finalists and their publishers! Arc would also like to thank the 2012 judges Priscila Uppal, Andris Taskans and Robin Richardson.
In Conflict, McNair tears at the components of self, society and language, with playful,
skillfully constructed poems. A range of experimentation and unapologetic deviation in this book
make it delightful and unpredictable for the reader. Cerebral and flirtatious, sometimes
both at once, Conflict interweaves ghosts, bad communication, the uncanny and the archival,
to create a collection of poems that breaks down remembrance into abandoned historic markers
and a gritty resistance to silence.
Nina Berkhout elseworlds (Woodstock: Seraphim Editions, 2012)
Acute introspection match with thoughtful impressions of the other in elseworlds,
where Berkhout addresses the ghostliness of memory and of her own psychological relationship
with the world around her. “Occasionally uninvited specters / cram the threshold, playing
old tapes – / that’s when I call the nurse” she admits wryly. Concerned with communication not only
between herself and the other, but between memory and actuality, myth and reality, this
assured and self-deprecating work offers rewards on every page.
E. Russell Smith Petroglyph Beach (Haliburton: The RightEyedDeer Press, 2012)
Succinct metre creates an unobtrusive score to these quiet pastorals. Careful and attentive,
these poems breathe life and individual, human perspective into the natural world where “The tundra
needs a time away from me. / Her life has changed, a strange hand / rests on her
perfect breast. Be patient / with her need for vigilant tranquility.” Subtle and astute, this is an
unusually strong collection.
A reading featuring the Lampman Award finalists, along with the winner of the Diana Brebner Award, will be held at Raw Sugar Café, 692 Somerset Street W in Ottawa at 7:30 pm on Thursday, October 17.