York alum Compton wins Governor General’s award for poetry

Poet and York alumna Anne Compton has won a 2005 Governor General’s Literary Award in Poetry for her book Processional. Compton received an MA from York in 1971 and taught with Canadian poet Eli Mandel in a Canadian Studies course at Atkinson College from 1974 to 1976. Since 1988, she has been a professor in the Department of Humanities and Languages at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John.

This year’s award winners were announced by the Canada Council for the Arts yesterday at a news conference in Montreal in celebration of the city’s designation as UNESCO World Book Capital for 2005-06. They will be presented with their awards by Governor General Michaëlle Jean at Rideau Hall in Ottawa next Wednesday, Nov. 23.

Right: Anne Compton                 

In describing Processional, one jurist noted, “Anne Compton’s voice is unique – at once passionate and refined. Her poems slip into one’s consciousness, a felt presence in a quiet room. Processional is a deft and remarkable achievement.”

Compton will receive a cheque for $15,000 and a specially-crafted copy of the winning book bound by Montreal bookbinder Lise Dubois. The governor general will also present certificates to the publishers of the winning books, and the Canada Council will provide each publisher with a $3,000 grant to support promotional activities for the winning book. Processional was published this year by Fitzhenry & Whiteside.

For more on Compton (and on fellow alumnus and nominee Joseph Boyden, who did not win for fiction), see the Nov. 2 issue of YFile.