Presented by the Royal City Literary Arts Society and judged this year by poet and novelist Evelyn Lau, the award honours poetic excellence in the same way Fred Cogswell did through his iconic press, Fiddlehead Poetry Books, and the still-running literary magazine that he founded, The Fiddlehead.
Could Be is a collection gathering work since his close call five years ago, Bowering shows off a wiser, though not necessarily mellower, aspect alongside the wit and unerring ear readers have come to expect from one of our greats. These are poems that look out into the world with fresh eyes, curious as any young poet’s. Only now the shadow of mortality finally takes its proper place alongside life’s many other sources of magic and wonder. Sunlight and warmth suffuse these poems, formally spanning short lyric verse, “found” stuff, and a long poem (“Sitting in Jalisco”). Rewarding attention as always, with Could Be George Bowering adds to a substantial body of work.
The winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday December 4.