Rachael Boast shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize

Rachael Boast's second collection, Pilgrim's Flower, is up against three other collections in the International category of the award.

Rachael Boast's second collection, Pilgrim's Flower​, is up against three other collections in the International category of the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize, which is the most generous award for poetry globally.

The judges each read 539 books of poetry from 40 countries; of Pilgrim’s Flower, they said: ‘Rachael Boast’s formal dexterity, her metaphysical reach, the clarity of her language and music make Pilgrim’s Flower a collection of true lyric poetry, at its finest.’ The full shortlist includes:

Pilgrim’s Flower, Rachael Boast (Picador)
Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, Brenda Hillman (Wesleyan University Press)
Silverchest, Carl Phillips (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Colonies, Mira Rosenthal, translated from the Polish written by Tomasz Różycki (Zephyr Press)

Red Doc, Anne Carson (Jonathan Cape and McClelland & Stewart)
OceanSue Goyette (Gaspereau Press)
Correspondences, Anne Michaels (McClelland & Stewart)

The winners, to be announced at the Griffin Poetry Prize Awards on Thursday, 5 June, will each be awarded $65,000.

Pilgrim's Flower

by Rachael Boast

Book cover for Pilgrim's Flower

Rachael Boast’s first collection, Sidereal, was one of the most highly regarded debuts of recent years, winning the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize. Her second, Pilgrim's Flower, richly confirms and dramatically extends that talent – but where Sidereal’s gaze was often firmly fixed on the heavens, Boast’s focus here has shifted earthward. The book sings life’s intoxicants – love, nature, literature, friendship, and other forms and methods of transcendence – and sees Boast’s pitch-perfect lyrical metaphysic challenge itself at every turn. Pilgrim's Flower gives an almost Rilkean attention to the spaces between things – the slippage between what we think we know, and what is actually there – and in doing so brings the language of rite, observance and rune to the details of our daily lives.