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Nightwood Editions Congratulates George Murray, Finalist for the Atlantic Poetry Prize


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Newfoundland poet George Murray has been shortlisted for the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia Atlantic Poetry Prize, for his latest book of poetry, The Rush to Here. Upon hearing the news Murray said he was, “chuffed to be in the company of great poets like Anne Simpson and Don Domanski and thrilled to a part of the arts scene out here by the ocean."

With his latest poetry collection, Murray proves once again he is one of his generation’s most accomplished poets as he breaks new ground with poems that are dangerous, sharp and glistening in both language and style. The Rush to Here darts through the absurdity of daily life to organize the mess and contradictions of modern society. Relentlessly honest, elegant in form and language, The Rush to Here is an intimidating, eerie, but ultimately hopeful collection.

George Murray’s three previous books of poetry include The Hunter (McClelland & Stewart, 2003) and The Cottage Builder’s Letter (M&S, 2001). His poems, fiction and criticisms have appeared in many publications in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, and Europe. Murray won the 2003 New York Festivals Radio and Television Gold Medal for Best Writing for his broadcast poem “Anniversary: A Personal Inventory” and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is the editor and publisher of the popular literary website Bookninja.com and a contributing editor for several literary magazines, including Canadian Notes and Queries and The Drunken Boat. He lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

In 1993, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia endowed funds ($5000) for a prize to honour the work of Atlantic poets. Led by Deirdre Dwyer, Atlantic Canadian poets gave readings, held bake sales, organized raffles and wrote letters. WFNS has subsequently worked to increase the endowment to ensure an annual $2,000 prize. Other books shortlisted for this prize are Quick, by Anne Simpson (McClelland & Stewart) and All Our Wonder Unavenged by Don Domanski (Brick Books).