The $25,000 national poetry prize recognizes a Canadian poet for outstanding mastery in the art of poetry.
Margaret Atwood, Pierre Berton, Graeme Gibson, Margaret Laurence and David Young founded the Writers’ Trust of Canada in 1976 to ensure Canadian writing continues to thrive.
“The award came as a complete surprise,” said Scott. “It’s humbling to be recognized in this way – for a body of work – it’s beyond anything I ever imagined.”
He has published four poetry books: Slit, blert, Decomp and Night & Ox. He has also produced two collections following his experience touring the Guantánamo Bay detention camp: Clearance Process and Lanterns at Guantánamo.
Of Scott’s poetry, the Writers’ Trust jury said, “His associations, insinuations, discoveries, tensions and mysterious propulsive force – these manifestations of his consciousness – are wondrous.”
Scott began writing poetry in grade school and the support he received when he was starting out inspired him to teach.
“I really enjoy my interactions with students,” he said. “I was fortunate to always have great mentors and I want to continually honour that patience, guidance and kindness.”
Scott hopes to encourage students, especially aspiring writers, to study and write poetry.
“Poetry allows you such freedom to explore language, not just in terms of words and meanings, but things like rhythm and sound,” said Scott. “I look at language like a material – like clay – which you can tear apart and reassemble to create something unique to how your body moves, to how you breathe. It’s a wonderfully mysterious medium.”
This January, he will be teaching Essay Writing and Critical Analysis (ENG-115), one of a wide range of English courses at NIC on topics such as writing fundamentals to fiction, non-fiction, poetry and travel writing.
Learn more about NIC’s English and Modern Language courses at www.nic.bc.ca/university-transfer.