Nine Victoria writers make longlist for CBC Poetry Prize

Nine writers with Victoria connections have made the longlist for the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize.

They’re among 32 writers from across Canada who made the list, selected from almost 3,000 submissions by a team of writers and editors from across Canada.

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The shortlist will be announced Nov. 5 and the winner — selected by a three-member jury — will be revealed Nov. 12. The prize is co-sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Amanda Merritt, a poet who teaches in the University of Victoria’s writing department, made the list for Let’s Not Bring The Will Into This.

Troy Sebastian |nupqu ʔak·ǂam̓ was selected for A pile of folded clothes, inspired by the story of his brother Kenny, who has been missing since June 9, 1975. The Ktunaxa writer is a graduate of the University of Victoria’s Writing MFA program, where he is a sessional instructor, and a curator at the Royal British Columbia Museum.

Andrea Scott, a Victoria writer and educator who grew up in Regina, is on the list for Adipose Glose.

Anna Moore, who grew up in Sooke and holds a BFA in creative writing from the University of Victoria, was selected for Lacuna and The Fisherman.

Hiromi Goto, on the longlist for alley/bird/ally, published her first novel, Chorus of Mushrooms, in 1994. Since then she’s published numerous books, including three books of fiction for adults, three books of fiction for youth and co-wrote a collection of poetry with David Bateman.

Yvonne Blomer, who served as the city of Victoria’s poet laureate from 2015 to 2018, is on the list for Pteropus: Fruit Bats. She is author of the travel memoir Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur, and her most recent book of poetry is As if a Raven.

Patricia Young, on the list for The Bones, has published fourteen collections of poetry and has been twice nominated for the Governor General’s Award for poetry.

Pamela Porter of Sidney is longlisted for She sits down to write the history of rain and suddenly the wild fall into order. Porter is the author of 14 published books — 10 volumes of poetry and four books for children and young adults, including two novels in verse.

University of Victoria MFA graduate Leah Callen of Regina, an emerging poet, is on the list for The Tug of War (Three Poems).

In addition to a cash prize of $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, the winner will receive a two-week writing residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and will be published on the CBC Books website. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their work published on CBC Books.

Last year’s winner was Calgary writer Alycia Pirmohamed for her collection of poems Love Poem with Elk and Puncuation, Prairie Storm and Tasbih.

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