OTTAWA — Perth poet Phil Hall has won the 75th Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry, it was announced today in Toronto.
Joining Hall among the major winners were B.C. author Patrick deWitt in the fiction category for his much-acclaimed novel The Sisters Brothers, and, in the non-fiction category, Peterborough writer Charles Foran for his biography of Montreal author Mordecai Richler, Mordecai: The Life & Times.
Hall, who moved to Perth three years ago, won for his collection Killdeer, published by BookThug. The collection includes a tribute to the late Canadian poet and short story writer Bronwen Wallace and Hall’s memories of writer Margaret Laurence, whom he met after hitchhiking at age 19 to Lakefield, Ont., where she lived.
The judges said Killdeer “realizes a masterly modulation of the elegiac through poetic time. It releases the personal from the often binding axis of the egoistic into that kind of humility that only a profound love of language — and of living — can achieve.”
Hall, 58, was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Award in 2001.
Each GG prize winner receives $25,000.
“The 2011 GG-winning books reflect the diversity and depth of contemporary Canadian literature,” said Robert Sirman, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. “With the hundreds of other great books that have won Canada’s national literary award over the past 75 years, they represent pure gold for Canadian creative excellence.”
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