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In addition to winning the 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize, Anne Simpson‘s second collection of poetry, Loop, was a finalist for the Governor-General’s Award in 2003. Her first collection of poetry, Light Falls Through You (2000), won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Atlantic Poetry Prize. Her first novel, Canterbury Beach (2001), was shortlisted for the 2002 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. In 1997, her short story “Dreaming Snow” shared the Journey Prize.

Simpson received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Queen’s University, and a diploma in Fine Arts from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Subsequently, she was a CUSO volunteer English teacher for two years in Nigeria. She has been the recipient of two Nova Scotia Arts Council grants and several Canada Council grants. Currently she lives with her family in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where she teaches part-time at St. Francis Xavier University. In the fall of 2004, she will be artist-in-residence at the Dalhousie Medical Humanities Program in Halifax.

Simpson’s volume of poetry Quick won the 2008 Pat Lowther Award. Her novel Falling was released in early 2008.

Loop

McClelland & Stewart
2004 Winner
Canada

Judges’ Citation

A troubled and generous spirit pervades and inspires Simpson’s achievement of craft and lyric in these poems.

The twin towers collapsing in New York, a plane spiralling down into the sea, a suicide’s fatal leap, even a flying carpet ‘riding on the wing of darkness’, such images of falling recur in Anne Simpson’s poetry with disturbing frequency. But as if to catch the fragments from these scenes of fracture, ellipses, loops, skeins and joinings, and the planets on their rounds also make appearances. Many poems are composed in sequences: a breath-taking demonstration of a ‘Möbius Strip’ glides across the middle of ten beautiful pages of Loop. A down-to-earth series, ‘The Trailer Park’, juxtaposes a mundane world of low-rent lives, family squabbles and love-making against the struggles of great astronomers who helped domesticate the skies. A troubled and generous spirit pervades and inspires Simpson’s achievement of craft and lyric in these poems.