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Canada Reads Poetry: Nox by Anne Carson

Nox by Anne Carson

Canada Reads Poetry is a three-week online initiative presented by CBC Books and the National Post. Inspired by the original Canada Reads format, Canada Reads Poetry features five panelists defending five collections of poetry. That's where the similarities end; while Canada Reads plays out on-air, Canada Reads Poetry plays out online.

CBC Books is looking at all five of the Canada Reads Poetry titles, one book at a time. On deck for today is Nox by Anne Carson. Poet Anne Simpson chose to defend this recent work for Canada Reads Poetry.


Anne Carson is one of Canada's most distinguished poets, and has won numerous awards, including the Griffin Poetry Prize. She is also a classical scholar, and often includes work from ancient philosophers and writers in her poetry. She wrote Nox in response to the death of her brother. It's part art project, part book-length elegy and meditation on loss.

In the video below, CBC host Sheryl McKay reads an excerpt from Nox.

Anne Carson

Often cited as one of the English-speaking world's most exciting contemporary voices, Anne Carson spends most of the time she's not writing poetry immersed in the classical world of ancient Greece.

Born in Toronto, Carson was first exposed to ancient Greek by her high school Latin teacher, who tutored her privately in the language. She later attended the University of Toronto, although she dropped out twice before eventually receiving her BA, MA and PhD in Classics.

Carson's poetry is richly allusive, combining personal reflections with literary and classical references. Her work moves beyond strict poetic form to include free verse and essays. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Griffin Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship "genius grant." In 2001, she became the first woman to receive the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.


We scoured the internet to uncover more information about this reclusive author. Tomorrow, we'll share our findings.

If you want to know more about Anne Carson and Nox, head over to the National Post's books blog, The Afterword, to read Anne Simpson's essay on why she selected it for Canada Reads Poetry and why she thinks all of Canada should read more of Anne Carson.

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