University of Victoria graduate Bren Simmers is the winner of the 2022 CBC Poetry Prize.
Simmers, who during her decade in Victoria worked at the university’s library while studying to receive her undergraduate women’s studies degree, won for her poem Spell World Backwards. CBC Books, in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, announced Simmers as the winner Thursday.
She receives $6,000 for the honour, and will have her poetry collection published on the CBC Books website. The Vancouver-writer, who currently lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, was also awarded a two-week writing residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Simmers wrote Spell World Backwards about her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
“By sharing this journey with others, I hope to create space for a conversation about how to cope with ‘the long goodbye’ and the different ways to honor a person whose faculties are being eroded by this disease,” Simmers said in a statement.
UVic student Rachel Lachmansingh was one of four runners-up who each receive $1000 from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Lachmansingh, Brad Aaron Modlin, Luka Poljak, and Kerry Ryan will also have their poetry published on CBC Books.