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Rachel Rose Wins the Audre Lorde Award

Posted: April 29, 2013

Song and SpectacleRachel Rose's latest book, Song and Spectacle, has won the prestigious Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry, presented by the Publishing Triangle. This award is given to a poet in Canada or the United States and honours Lorde, an American poet, essayist, librarian and teacher. Rose was presented with the award at a ceremony in New York City on April 25th. 

Song and Spectacle is the third collection by Rose, whose craft as a lyricist intersects with a deep notion of the world around her. Her words provoke an awareness of one’s self and, at the same time, create a sense of intimacy with the greater world. She has an extraordinary ability to combine the very personal with the universal. The poems touch on the truths of lesbian motherhood, the effects that suicide has on those left behind, the pains of child birth and the broader questions of myth and science—and the efforts and failures of both to fulfill notions of living and dying.

Rose’s fierce refrains cry out with the joy of being loved and loving—as a mother, child, lover and friend in a nurturing, yet volatile world. Throughout her verse lies a profound respect for the ever-changing body—one that is constantly being sacrificed for love and life, or to death, disease and abuse. Although Rose’s words are penetrating, they are not without a sense of humour and a healthy dose of playfulness.

Rachel Rose is a writer whose work has appeared in journals in Canada, the US, New Zealand and Japan. Her first book, Giving My Body to Science (McGill/Queen’s University Press, 1999) was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award, the Pat Lowther Award and the Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal, and won the Quebec Writers’ Federation A.M. Klein Award. Her second book, Notes on Arrival and Departure, was published by McClelland & Stewart in 2005. Song and Spectacle was also nominated for the Pat Lowther Award, which will be announced in May or June. Winner of the Peterson Memorial Prize for poetry and the Bronwen Wallace award for fiction, she holds a BA in English from McGill University and a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.