Friday, June 08, 2007

Babstock on Poetry, Popularity and Purses

Globe & Mail Interview with Ken Babstock
June 6, 2007
James Adams

What's popularity any way?.... A newspaper can feature an article about a handbag every single Saturday. But does poetry want that?... People in the culture are reading poetry, always have and always will. I just don't know if it has to have the same face as Paris Hilton.
– Ken Babstock

Ken Babstock admits he has done his "fair share of griping about awards' short lists," especially when his name hasn't appeared on one honour roll or another.

"Mostly, it's a way of talking yourself down from the bad trip of disappointment, that edge of crazy bitterness," the 37-year-old Toronto poet acknowledged with a laugh the other day. "You put a lot of work into your writing, and everyone wants a little validation, a little recognition just like in any other performer's life, any other pursuit."

In the past few months, however, Babstock has had little cause for caterwauling. On Monday, his third book, Airstream Land Yacht, was named the English-language winner of the $10,000 Trillium Book Award for Poetry...

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Airstream Land Yacht was published by House of Anansi in 2006.

Don McKay was the winner of this year's Griffin Poetry Prize for Strike/Slip,
McClelland & Stewart, 2007.

Coming soon from Rattling Books: Songs for the Songs of Birds, Don McKay's selection of poems on the theme of birds, birding and flight. Narrated by the author, the soundtrack features bird song recordings identified to species.