Gabriola Island resident Roger Farr’s IKMQ has been named as a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Prize, awarded annually to a distinguished book of poetry by a BC writer. Winners will be announced on May 4 at the annual BC Book Prizes awards dinner, hosted by British Columbia’s Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon at Government House in Victoria.
This is Farr’s first appearance as a finalist for a BC Book Prize. IKMQ, which consists of 64 brief prose passages that follow the exploits of four “characters” — the letters I, K, M, and Q — through a series of language scenarios. It is Farr’s third book of poetry, following Surplus (2006) and Means (2013). It is extremely gratifying to see all that hard work and excellence finally pay off for Roger.
Slightly disappointing is Farr’s omission from the BC Book Prizes Tour (participants are chosen by draw), as we had visions of him reading from selections like “P.O.V.” and “Fine Bubble Hash” to a Grade 6 class in Terrace. More seriously, it is encouraging that there is room in the BC Book Prizes for work such as IKMQ, which challenges conventional views of poetry in terms both of form as well as content / subject matter.