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Ray Hsu Wins Prestigious Poetry Award

Posted: June 13, 2005

Anthropy, written by Ray Hsu and published by Nightwood Editions as a Junction Book, has won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, which recognizes the best first book of poetry by a Canadian. The award was announced at the League of Canadian Poets’ Annual General Meeting on June 11, 2005 in Toronto.

“We are delighted that Ray is receiving recognition from his fellow poets for his first book,” says Silas White, publisher of Nightwood Editions. “He's a truly dynamic new voice with a bright future ahead of him.” Hsu’s work was also acknowledged this spring, when Anthropy was announced as a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry.

Ray Hsu grew up in Toronto. He studied at the University of Toronto, where his work was scored for performance by the Faculty of Music. His poetry has been published in Canadian and American journals, including Fence, The Fiddlehead, Exile, Echolocation and The Literary Review of Canada. He is currently completing a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Anthropy, Ray Hsu’s long-awaited debut, is a work of extraordinary range and precision. Excavating sites of human cruelty and endurance, intimacy and experience, Hsu puts forward the language to lead us into the inferno of our time. He brings us to a place where the living, the dead, and the imaginary cross paths. Odysseus meets the Little Prince; Franz Kafka meets Fernando Pessoa. All struggle with the same problem: their pasts, visceral and desperate, continue to burn with the intensity of the present.

The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award recognizes the best first book of poetry by a Canadian author. It is sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets and comes with a $1000 prize. Anthropy was one of five shortlisted books. Monks' Fruit by A.J. Levin, another book published by Nightwood Editions, was also a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award.