The Montreal Poetry Prize, an international award established this year by a new nonprofit in Canada, was given last night to a poet from Australia. Mark Tredinnick of Sydney received the prize, an unprecedented fifty-thousand-dollars for a single poem, for "Walking Underwater."
"This is a bold, big-thinking poem," said judge and former U.K. poet laureate Andrew Motion, "in which ancient themes—especially the theme of our human relationship with landscape—are recast and rekindled."
Tredinnick's poem was among fifty shortlisted for the prize (including one other piece written by him), all of which will appear in an anthology published by Montreal-based Véhicule Press. The longlisted poems were published in an e-book, which the prize organization is offering for free on its website.
Another of the shortlisted poets received an unanticipated award, the publication of her work as a broadside designed by U.S. artist Eric Fischl. A limited edition of "The Grasshoppers' Silence" by Canadian poet Linda Rogers will be released in 2012, and proceeds from sales of the signed broadside will go to fund future awards and efforts of the Montreal International Poetry Prize nonprofit.
In the video below, Rogers reads the title poem, itself artfully rendered as a broadside, from her book Muscle Memory (Ekstasis Editions, 2009).