25th Trillium Award

Trillium Testimonial: David Seymour

Share |

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Ontario's illustrious Trillium Book Award/Prix Trillium. To celebrate this silver milestone, Open Book has asked members of the literary community to tell us what they love about their favourite award-winning Trillium title. If you're looking for a recommended read (or re-read), follow these Trillium Testimonials on Open Book: Ontario from now until the winners of the 2012 award competition are announced. Today, poet and filmmaker David Seymour tells us why he's chosen Kevin Connolly’s Drift (House of Anansi), winner of the 2005 Trillium Book Award for Poetry.

Open Book:

What do you love about this book?

David Seymour:

I love the fact that the book has an incomparable voice (or I should say is incomparably voiced), and resists those false "offspring" or "multi-functional" comparisons. His work is not some Frankenstein created from parts Ashbery and parts O’Hara, is not an El Camino or a vise-grip/flashlight.; it’s its own very singular thing that does its thing absurdly well. The poems regard us with a certain refined disbelief or exasperation, but it’s an exasperation that has arisen out of heart-breaking attention rather than from any purely intellectual exercise. The poems are no less intelligent for it.

I had published a book of poetry that same year and upon reading Connolly’s work noticed I used the line "scarf of sparrows" in a poem, which existed nowhere but as an idea I once had about Keats. In a poem in Drift, however, Connolly used the image of a "scarf of wasps," but they somehow existed in a place and for a time of felt duration. They could sting. That is, they carried weight or being that my sparrows didn’t. It’s a small example of the reason I believed then that he was capable of making my own work better.


When did you first read it?


I first read this book when it came out in 2005. Late to the game on Connolly’s work, I had only just read Happyland and so was anticipating Drift’s release.

David Seymour’s first book, Inter Alia (Brick Books, 2005) was short-listed for the Gerald Lampert Award for the best first book of poetry in Canada. His second book, For Display Purposes Only, will be published by Coach House Books in 2013.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Advanced Search