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Vancouver Author Shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry


October 16, 2006

Vancouver poet Elizabeth Bachinsky has been shortlisted for Canada’s premier literary award for her sophomore collection Home of Sudden Service.
"I started to shake when I realized I was on the shortlist,” said Bachinsky in an early-morning phone call from her home. “I don’t know how I am going to go to work and mark papers for the rest of the day. To be nominated for the Governor General’s award is an incredible honour, especially since I am sharing the shortlist with writers like John Pass and Sharon Thesen.”

Bachinsky’s work has been described as “smart-ass” and “tough” by acclaimed poets Gary Geddes and Stan Dragland, but they also note her ability to portray her characters with tenderness and true technical prowess. Geddes writes that Bachinsky “…knows not only how to hot-wire and fine-tune a poem, but also how to provide just the right blend of sound, image, and torque to make it move.”

The Canada Council for the Arts funds, administers and promotes the Governor General’s Literary Awards, worth $15,000 each. A total of 68 books have been nominated for this year’s awards in English and in French, in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, children’s literature (text and illustration) and translation. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 10am at simultaneous news conferences in Toronto and Montreal. Other finalists in the poetry category are: Ken Babstock, for Airstream Land Yacht (House of Anansi Press); Dionne Brand, for Inventory (McClelland & Stewart); John Pass, for Stumbling in the Bloom (Oolichan Books); and Sharon Thesen, for The Good Bacteria (House of Anansi Press).