Billy-Ray Belcourt from Driftpile Cree Nation in Alberta is the Canadian winner of the $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize for his anthology, This Wound is a World.
Part manifesto, part memoir, This Wound is a World is an invitation to "cut a hole in the sky to world inside." Billy-Ray Belcourt issues a call to turn to love and sex to understand how Indigenous peoples shoulder sadness and pain like theirs without giving up on the future. His poems upset genre and play with form, scavenging for a decolonial kind of heaven where "everyone is at least a little gay." (From Frontenac House)
The Griffin Poetry Prize awards two grand prizes, worth $65,000 each, annually. It is one of the richest awards in the world for poetry. The winners were announced on June 7, 2018 at an awards gala in Toronto. Read the announcement in the Globe and Mail.
Billy-Ray is originally from the Driftpile Cree Nation, and is currently a PhD student at the University of Alberta.