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Award History

Jury Citation

“Ken Babstock’s poems are like grenades: shiny, compelling, and threatening imminent explosion. Exceedingly well-made, and always surprising, they reflect a deep attention to the world and its weird complexity, its joys and violence. Nearly animal in their vigour, they arise from an unsettled and unsettling curiosity — from the history of world literatures, from design mags, Greek myths, pop music, assorted manuals, nature rambles, eavesdropping — and examine perception and representation from a thrillingly Cubist array of angles. That these are old subjects makes them, in Babstock’s hands, all the more potent, for one feels him constantly challenging himself to, in Pound’s (old) words, “make it new” – for us, but, foremost, for himself. Each poem reflects the concentration of all his attention and art. His reputation is deservedly significant, and renewed encounters with his work make one marvel all the more. Few writers balance mind, body, and spirit with such apparent ease and with such vitality. Ken Babstock is in a league of his own.”
— 2014 Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize Jury (Stephanie Bolster, Lorna Crozier, and Fred Wah)

Works recognized by WT

Airstream Land Yacht

Days Into Flatspin


Methodist Hatchet

On Malice