Description

In a year when women’s rights, the environment and democracy have been increasingly under question an interesting thing has happened: three women poets command the Canadian portion of the Griffin Poetry Prize. Each year, the prize celebrates — and reinforces — the importance of poetry and awards two prizes of $65,000 each to a winner chosen from a Canadian shortlist, and one from an international shortlist. When the books that speak to the judges’ sensibilities and critical eye deal with issues including oppressive political regimes, economic inequality, differences and creativity, it begs a question about the role of the poet. Ahead of the prize ceremony in Toronto next week, we wanted to ask each of this year’s seven finalists: What is a poet’s role in politically turbulent times?And, in terms of creating their art: How do they know when a poem succeeds? Here’s what they had to say.

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