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Robert Kroetsch Award recognizes rookie poet Claire Lacey

Calgary poet Claire Lacey is this year’s recipient of the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Her manuscript, Twin Tongues, incorporates English and Tok Pisin, the two most widely used lingua franca in Papua New Guinea, in a text about the ethics of appropriation and language use.

“I’m overjoyed about receiving the RK Award,” Lacey tells Quillblog in an email. “There were many deserving people on [the shortlist].”

The annual award recognizes the best poetry manuscript by an emerging Canadian writer. Lacey receives a trade book contract with Invisible Publishing’s Snare imprint, and a $500.00 advance. Twin Tongues will be published in fall 2013.

Prize judge and Book Thug publisher Jay MillAr says, Claire Lacey’s Twin Tongues sets up an intriguing concept, executes it, and says ‘deal with it!’ Yet, for all its explorations and insatiable curiosities, it never wavers from what is important to contemporary poetry: language as a social endeavour at the crossroad of writing and reading.

Past winners of the prize include Natalie Zina Walshots, Geoffery Hlibchuk, Sarah Dowling, Jake Kennedy, and Pearl Pirie.