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Student shortlisted for Governor General's Award


Sandy Pool found out she was shortlisted for a Governor General's Literary
Award—Canada's oldest and most prestigious award for English- and
French-language Canadian literature—through Facebook.

"I had people
congratulating me, and I had no idea what for," says Pool, a PhD student in the
English department. "Luckily, a friend quickly clarified what was going on, but
I was monumentally confused for about a half an hour until I figured it out.
Truly, I have been walking around with my head in the clouds ever since."

She is nominated in the English-language poetry category for Exploding
into Night, her first book.

A writer and classically trained theatre artist, Pool holds a degree in Theatre
and English from the University of Toronto, as well as a Master's of Fine Arts
degree in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. Her work has been
published in many of the top literary journals in Canada including The
Antigonish Review, The Capilano Review, dandelion, The Fiddlehead, Grain and
Sub-terrain. She also writes Opera librettos, and has been commissioned by
Toronto's Tapestry New Opera Works.

Described as "a long poetic
conversation written in fragmented sections," Exploding into Night is based on
the true story of a woman who was murdered by her husband in the Parkdale area
of Toronto. The poem speaks in many voices, including that of killer, victim and
the conscience of the city.

"The poem is a kind of 'choose-your-own
adventure'," says Pool. "It's closer to a mural than a map."

Nominees in
the English-language poetry category also include Richard Greene for Boxing the
Compass, Michael Harris for Circus, Daryl Hine for &: A Serial Poem and
Melanie Siebert for Deepwater Vee.

"It really is an unbelievable honour
to be listed alongside such talented writers," says Pool. "I think it can be
daunting for an emerging writer to be recognized in this way, especially for a
young writer with a first book. Making the short list was definitely a goal of
mine at some point, but I never imagined it would be so soon. I'm absolutely
honoured and humbled to be nominated for such an award."

administered and promoted by The Canada Council for the Arts, the Governor
General's Literary Awards offer a $25,000 prize for winners. Winners will be
announced Nov. 16 in Montreal.