In the Toronto Star (“Canada Council denies conflict of interest“), Vit Wagner reports on the controversy that erupted following the announcement of one of the poetry winners in the Governor General’s Literary Awards. Jacob Scheier, a Canadian expatriate living in Brooklyn, won for his debut collection, More to Keep Us Warm. And here’s the rub:
In the acknowledgements, Scheier thanks two of the three jury members: poets Di Brandt, who helped translate a poem contained in the collection, and Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, who blurbed the book.
The Canada Council, which administers the award, is standing by its selection process. I think, though, that they’d do well to remember an old journalistic admonition: that the appearance of impropriety is often just as bad as actual impropriety. Also, logrolling leaves tracks.
Lots more about this on Bookninja.