Canadian Anne Carson up for Britain's new Folio Prize
Anne Carson poses at the National Book Critics Circle Awards in New York in this 1999 file photo. (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin)
Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
Published Monday, February 10, 2014 9:39AM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 10, 2014 11:38AM EST
LONDON -- Canadian poet Anne Carson is among the nominees for a new literary prize designed to find the best book published in Britain.
The 40,000 pound ($66,000) Folio Prize is open to any book published in Britain in 2013.
The eight finalists, announced Monday, include Carson for her long-form poem "Red Doc."
The Toronto native, who teaches at the University of Michigan, has already won honours including the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry and the Griffin Poetry Prize.
The Folio Prize list also includes five books by U.S. writers: "Schroder" by Amity Gaige; "Benediction" by Kent Haruf; "The Flamethrowers" by Rachel Kushner; "A Naked Singularity" by Sergio De La Pava; and "Tenth of December" by George Saunders.
There are also two books by Britain-based writers -- Jane Gardam's "Last Friends," and Eimear McBride's "A Girl is a Half-Formed thing."
British poet Lavinia Greenlaw, who is chairing the judging panel, said the American emphasis was a coincidence.
"We forgot about the authors and focused on the books," she said.
There are few big-name authors on a list that ranges from debut novelist De La Pava -- a public defender in New York -- to 85-year-old Gardam, and includes Saunders' volume of short stories.
Greenlaw said that what the books had in common was risk-taking authors "doing things that should fail and pulling them off."
The contest is in its first year and hopes to rival the Booker Prize as the English-speaking world's most prestigious literary award. But it has been criticized by some in the U.K. literary world who feel British authors will be overlooked.
Those concerns have grown since the Booker, previously confined to British, Irish and Commonwealth writers, announced that it will be open to all nationalities starting this year.
But Folio Prize founder Andrew Kidd said: "It seemed perverse that we would have launched a prize in 2013 which was other than borderless, in an increasingly borderless world."
The winner will be announced March 10 in London.