Snare Books is pleased to announce the winner of the 2012 Robert Kroetsch Award!
The winner is Laura Broadbent, for her book, OH THERE YOU ARE, I CAN’T SEE YOU, IS IT RAINING?
An experiment in hybrid and versatility of voice, these texts stutter around the slipperiness of language and the transience of desire. The first section is an exercise in paradox wherein language as medium breaks free of signification and desire, knowing very well that language is inextricable from desire. The second section concedes that language may be inescapable yet its borders and meanings must and can be moveable, so that through the decomposition of what has been said or written the new may sustain itself on the dregs of the past. The third section is a burlesque reflection on the kaleidoscopic incarnations of Eros as it passes through assorted personalities and neuroses, that is, a chorus of anonymous men, all in various states of confusion about love. Each man is but a different face on the ten-thousand-sided-dice of the same drive wherein gender stereotypes are inflated to show their contours, exposing romantic desire as it is: essential, absurd, random, hideous, and blind.
This year’s judge, Sachiko Murakami, had this to say about the book:
Names are made of language and language is made of chains.
So we are warned in the first wandering between points A and B in this ambitious collection. Indeed, the chains of these poems are rattled, their links leading outward through the dark not to the articulation of subject, but rather a “small breathy dose of infinity.” Here we see nods to Stein, there to meditative practice, everywhere the subject struggling through and doubling back on itself in the next breath, an elegant Mobius slip. Whether the writing works through the procedural appropriation of the writer’s own teenage-angst journals or prosey blusters through male desire, these words are confident in execution, accomplished in tone and very humanly inhabited.
Laura Broadbent was raised in Stratford, Ontario and has lived in Montreal since 2005. This is her first book. We would like to send our congratulations to her, as well as to everyone who entered. The shortlist can be found here.