Anne Simpson


Griffin Poetry Prize 2004
Canadian Winner

Book: Loop

Poet: Anne Simpson

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

Click here to read and listen to an excerpt.



In addition to winning the 2004 Griffin Poetry Prize, Anne Simpson‘s second collection of poetry, Loop, was a finalist for the Governor-General’s Award in 2003. Her first collection of poetry, Light Falls Through You (2000), won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Atlantic Poetry Prize. Her first novel, Canterbury Beach (2001), was shortlisted for the 2002 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. In 1997, her short story “Dreaming Snow” shared the Journey Prize.

Simpson received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Queen’s University, and a diploma in Fine Arts from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Subsequently, she was a CUSO volunteer English teacher for two years in Nigeria. She has been the recipient of two Nova Scotia Arts Council grants and several Canada Council grants. Currently she lives with her family in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where she teaches part-time at St. Francis Xavier University. In the fall of 2004, she will be artist-in-residence at the Dalhousie Medical Humanities Program in Halifax.

Simpson’s volume of poetry Quick won the 2008 Pat Lowther Award. Her novel Falling was released in early 2008.

See also

Judges’ Citation

“The twin towers collapsing in New York, a plane spiralling down into the sea, a suicide’s fatal leap, even a flying carpet ‘riding on the wing of darkness’, such images of falling recur in Anne Simpson’s poetry with disturbing frequency. But as if to catch the fragments from these scenes of fracture, ellipses, loops, skeins and joinings, and the planets on their rounds also make appearances. Many poems are composed in sequences: a breath-taking demonstration of a ‘Möbius Strip’ glides across the middle of ten beautiful pages of Loop. A down-to-earth series, ‘The Trailer Park’, juxtaposes a mundane world of low-rent lives, family squabbles and love-making against the struggles of great astronomers who helped domesticate the skies. A troubled and generous spirit pervades and inspires Simpson’s achievement of craft and lyric in these poems.”

Anne Simpson reads from The Trailer Park

From The Trailer Park, by Anne Simpson

From The Trailer Park

Near the bridge in the trailer park,
a man sets up a tent, fumbling in the dark.
A woman unrolls the sleeping bag. They unzip,
shed themselves – a loosening shrug –
step inside each other. Breath:
fingering: blind:
quick. Body shudders,
stuns with its liquid, its cool –

they step back out. It’s very still.
Breath after breath. One thing
draws another. Gently, so gently,
he puts his head against her ribs,
opening a shutter in her skin to look
inside: cathedrals of space, wandering
planets, aisle upon aisle
of stars. She summons all that’s there.

From Loop, by Anne Simpson
Copyright © 2003

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Photo credit: Bernice MacDonald

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