Zachariah Wells has been providing a blow-by-blow account of this year's tainted GG Award for Poetry, won by Jacob Sheier for his More to Keep Us Warm. This article in Quill and Quire sums up the details and latest reactions. There's been lots of chatter at Book Ninja, too. Seems one of the judges, Pier Georgio de Ciccio, blurbed the winning book; another, Di Brandt co-wrote a poem in it, and both are mentioned in the acknowlegements -- indeed, the winning author, gives special thanks Di Brandt for her "ongoing advice, support and feedback in the process of writing this book." Even if the writing was absolutely stellar, the obvious connections tarnish this award & the prestige of the prize. But I'm inclined to agree with Fraser Sutherland's review that appeared in the Globe and Mail a few days back -- that a lot of it is pretty facile stuff. See for yourself (just scroll down). That all this end with a bang, not a whimper, indeed.
Foetry.com would have had a field day with this one.
It's hard to imagine these particular judges couldn't feel the heat coming from this decision... nor the author. Readers are encouraged to write letters of concern & protest, as Wells has done, to those in the Canada council in charge.