Iolaire on the League of Canadian Poets Longlist

Turnstone Press is thrilled to announce that Karen Clavelle's debut book of poetry, Iolaire, is a finalist for the 2018 Gerald Lampert Book Award.

Iolaire weaves together one of the most tragic tales in maritime history--the 1918 sinking of the HMS Iolaire that killed 205 men returning home from World War I battlefields--with letters, news clippings, diary entries, and Karen's own unique voice.

This is the first year the League has included longlists in their deliberations and Iolaire is in good company with eleven other books by first-time Canadian poets. We would like to extend congratulations to all the nominees.

The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award recognizes a first book of poetry published by a Canadian and the League of Canadian Poets 2018 shortlists will be announced in April.

Karen Clavelle has long been fascinated with Scottish history and the long poem tradition. Her work has appeard in several literary journals including Prairie Fire and Contemporary Verse II. Iolaire is Karen’s first collection of poetry. She lives and writes in Winnipeg.

What people are saying about Iolaire

Iolaire is a muscular reckoning of a century-old maritime disaster that hums like an electric charge. Here be history, lyric, time lines, photographs, imagined letters, dramatic voices, prose, and soulful Gaelic carried up and away by one of literature’s great vessels, the long poem. Karen Clavelle has produced a multi-layered, stormtossed work that holds fast to the heaving line. —Katherine Lawrence, author of Never Mind

In this collection of sublime longing, Karen Clavelle weaves possible lost threads into a series of evocative questions, suggesting an inquiry like an elegy seeking lyric. Iolaire’s buoyancy is found in its heroine, whose residual life is haunted by the limbo of a collapsing ship, suspended and alive in memory like a somehow still-flaming archetype. —Kristian Enright, author of Sonar