Coldstream poet Laisha Rosnau has taken home a prestigious Canadian award, as well as the considerable prize money that comes with it.
Rosnau has been named the winner of the 2023 Latner Griffin Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize, awarded to writers who are in the middle of their career with “outstanding mastery in the art of poetry.”
As the winner of the award, Rosnau receives a prize of $60,000.
The award is given annually to mid-career Canadian writers with a minimum of three published collections of poetry. The poets are recognized for a “remarkable” body of work and for their anticipated future contributions to Canadian poetry.
Rosnau was selected this year’s winner by an independent panel of three judges, and was announced the winner at the annual Writers’ Trust Awards on Tuesday, Nov. 21.
“With incisive descriptions, steady rhythms, and imaginative leaps, Laisha Rosnau’s work shows us the flaws and fragility of being human. Her expansive body of work addresses personal and global issues in language sometimes woven delicately, and other times with necessary force. Ultimately, we are left with the desire to read more from this striking and intelligent poetic voice,” reads the jury citation.
“The poet takes on themes of immigration, patriarchy, colonial greed, and war; the poet’s body of work to date is unrelenting in its portrayals, but not without depth and complexity. Lines like: ‘We live in a world saturated by symbolism. Sometimes it is best to be direct,’ remind us of the power of poetry to be clear-eyed and insistent on the injustices and atrocities of our past, which are still with us in the present moment.”
Rosnau’s book, Our Familiar Hunger, was named the winner of the Kobzar Book Award in 2020.