The finalists for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for poetry

The 2018 Governor General's Literary Awards will be awarded to books in seven English-language categories, each featuring five finalists. The winners will be announced on Oct. 30, 2018.
The winners of the 2018 Governor General's Literary Awards will be announced on Oct. 30, 2018. (Canada Council for the Arts/CBC)

Here are the finalists for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for poetry.

The Governor General's Literary Awards are one of Canada's oldest and most prestigious prizes. The awards, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are given in seven English-language categories: fictionnonfiction, poetry, young people's literature — textyoung people's literature — illustrationdrama and translation. Seven French-language awards are also given out in the same categories.

Each winner receives $25,000. The winners will be announced on Oct. 30, 2018.

You can see the finalists in all seven categories here.

This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt is the author of the poetry collection This Wound Is A World. (Frontenac House)

Rhodes Scholar and PhD student Billy-Ray Belcourt hails from Driftpile Cree Nation in Alberta. His debut collection of poetry, This Wound is a World, merges the personal with the academic, envisioning, in his own words, a "decolonial kind of heaven that is searchable, findable." It is memoiristic, lucid and exacting in its determination to upend genre and form. This Wound is a World won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize.

The Blue Clerk by Dionne Brand

The Blue Clerk is a poetry collection by Dionne Brand. (Jason Chow, McClelland & Stewart)

The Blue ClerkDionne Brand's latest work of poetry, is an argument between the poet and the titular "blue clerk," who is the keeper of the page. Throughout the course of their conversation, philosophers, poets and artists are referenced and memory, culture, language and beauty are explored. Brand, who is a member of the Order of Canada, is a novelist as well: her novel Theory came out in fall 2018.

Because: A Lyric Memoir by Joshua Mensch

Joshua Mensch is the author of the poetry book Because. (WW Norton/Cristián Burrows)

Joshua Mensch is a poet, author and editor from northern Nova Scotia. His debut book, Because, is a harrowing and affecting work that examines sexual and psychological abuse from the eyes of a child on the cusp of adolescence. By way of vivid and precise poetic narratives — driven by the word "because" —  the book is a testament to vulnerability, heartbreak and healing.

Wayside Sang by Cecily Nicholson

Cecily Nicholson is the author of the poetry collection Wayside Sang. (Liam Britten/CBC/Talonbooks)

Cecily Nicholson takes a researched look at the geography of the African diaspora in this poetic account of economy travel on North American roadways, across Peace and Ambassador bridges and through the Fleetway tunnel, above and beneath Great Lake rivers between U.S. and Canada.

Night Became Years by Jason Stefanik

Jason Stefanik is the author of the poetry collection Night Became Years. (Coach House Books)

Night Became Years by Winnipeg-based poet Jason Stefanik is experimental and modernist in its poetry of the flâneur. The poetry collection sees Stefanik examine and explore — using Elizabethan canting language — themes such as love, Indigeneity, geography, race and identity as a second generation adoptee.


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