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Writer’s Studio mentor shortlisted for three poetry prizes

April 14, 2011
Jen Currin.

By Amy Robertson

Jen Currin was shortlisted for three major poetry awards this spring.

The Writer’s Studio mentor’s third book of poetry, The Inquisition Yours (Coach House, 2010), was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (a B.C. Book Prize), the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry, and a Lambda Literary Award (Lesbian Poetry category).

The collection, a follow-up to Hagiography, explores atrocities like environmental destruction, terrorism, and the erosion of personal rights.

The book also explores war: for Currin, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t just political problems—they’re spiritual problems.

“We’re complicit in some way,” she said.

Currin believes poetry has the “ability to speak truths that aren’t being spoken elsewhere” because of poetry’s ability to be “so forceful in such a short space.”

The Inquisition is Yours by Jen Currin.

Unlike full-length works, she explained, poetry allows a reader to open a book, read one page, and encounter something that will help him or her think differently.

Winners for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry prize will be announced April 21, 2011, at the Lieutenant Governor’s B.C. Book Prizes Gala in Vancouver. The Audre Lorde Award winner will be announced April 28 and the Lambda Literary Award winners May 26, both at awards ceremonies in New York City.

Currin’s second book, Hagiography, won Winnow Press’s 2005 Open Book Award.


Jen Currin won the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry on April 28, 2011.

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