2019 Canadian Shortlist – Dionne Brand


Dionne Brand was born in Trinidad and is a poet, novelist, non-fiction writer, filmmaker, educator, and activist. She has written 10 previous books of poetry, and is a winner of the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Book Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and a past winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize. She was Toronto’s third Poet Laureate from 2009-2012. In 2017 she was named to the Order of Canada. Brand is a Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. She lives in Toronto.

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Judges Citation

“Dionne Brand’s The Blue Clerk is many things at once: a book-length ars poetica; an act of memory and reconfiguration; an extended meditation (one that moves at times directly, at others by a kind of philosophical osmosis) touching on the realms of history, politics, race and gender; an internal, consciously curated and interrogated dialogue that manages to create a space for all of these. Expansive, beautifully written, structurally compelling, and above all moving, The Blue Clerk is a book to be read (and re-read), not just for the pleasures of its language, but for the breadth of its vision, and the capaciousness of its thinking.”

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