Governor General’s Literary Awards shortlists

So, I am currently out of town for the first time in three years, typing to you from a hotel room. It’s been a little surreal, but such is life in these times (elevators are worse than airplanes, is my main takeaway). Had to pop in though to signal boost the announcement of the GG shortlists. I was a juror for English language poetry again, the first time in 12 years, and what a year it was. I’m really proud of the list (my choices are well-represented) and I would defend to the death any of these books, but what I really want the Canada Council to do is allow for a long list. You should have seen the quality of the books that DIDN’T make it to this list. What harm would there be in announcing 10 or 12 books six weeks ago then five today? The thing about judging contests like this is that it’s really easy to get down to a list of about 15 books that are contenders, but then it becomes (to crib a metaphor from the Olympics) a race of 10ths, even 100ths of a second. That said, I think we did a good job and I’m excited for you to hear the winner in a month or so.

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