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Nick Thran Wins the Trillium Book Award for Poetry

Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 12:56pm

Winners of Ontario’s foremost prize for literary excellence, the Trillium Book Awards, were announced at an awards ceremony on June 20, 2012. Among the night’s winners was Nightwood Editions poet Nick Thran, who took home $10,000 and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry for his second collection, Earworm.

The Trillium Book Award for Poetry, which was established in 2003, recognizes literary achievement for a first, second or third published work of poetry. Works by more established poets are eligible for the traditional Trillium Book Award.

The jury for this year’s poetry award says of Thran’s work: “Here is an answer to why poetry matters, to how alchemical stanzas can turn experience to gold. Earworm is just as likely to make you cry as laugh, long and loud.”

Earworm expertly combines wicked cleverness, adept craftsmanship and a uniquely insightful perspective in an entertaining yet substantial tour de force. Building on the success of his debut, Thran has enhanced his compelling pop culture rhythms and distinctive voice with bolder formal experimentation and greater poetic maturity.

This eclectic collection takes in topics ranging from cartoons to Caravaggio to cicadas, expressed in a comparable variety of poetic forms. Despite this diversity, the book is unified by its perfectly balanced blend of thoughtful observation laced with Thran’s characteristically whimsical sense of humour.

Nick Thran is the author of one previous collection of poetry, Every Inadequate Name (Insomniac Press, 2006). His poems have appeared in numerous publications across Canada, including Arc, The Best Canadian Poetry 2010, Geist, Maisonneuve, Matrix, The National Post and The Walrus.

The other authors nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry were Helen Guri for Match (Coach House Press) and Jacob McArthur Mooney for Folk (McClelland & Stewart).