Griffin Poetry Prize spotlight: Soraya Peerbaye reads Rainfall

This year on q, we're highlighting some of the poets shortlisted for a Griffin Poetry Prize. Today: Toronto poet Soraya Peerbaye.
Soraya Peerbaye's Tell, a collection of poems partially based on the Reena Virk murder case, is shortlisted for this year's Griffin Poetry Prize. (Pedlar Press)

On Nov. 14, 1997, 14-year-old Reena Virk was cornered, beaten, and killed under a bridge in Saanich on Vancouver Island. Her attackers were fellow teenagers, mainly girls.

The B.C. teen's death shook Toronto poet Soraya Peerbaye, who attended some of the trials that followed and pored over court transcripts. 

Tell: Poems for a Girlhood is Peerbaye's response to the murder, its effect on the South Asian community, and the ambiguous aftermath. Today she reads the second poem in her collection, Rainfall, and reflects on the "intimate and disturbing" process behind it. 

Tell has been shortlisted for the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize.

The Griffin Poetry Prize awards $65,000 every year to two poets: one living in Canada, and one poet living in another part of the world. This year on q we're highlighting some of the shortlisted poets leading up to announcement of the winners on June 2nd.


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