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Writer who spent her youth in Victoria wins CBC Poetry Prize honours

Lise Gaston, who was born in Toronto, won the award for her poem James .
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Lise Gaston. Credit: Handout

University of Victoria graduate Lise Gaston has won the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize for her poem about the death of her unborn child.

Gaston, who was born in Toronto, won the award for her poem James. That is the name Gaston and her husband chose for their firstborn son, who was pronounced stillborn in 2020. The writer spent her adolescence and undergraduate years in Victoria. Her father, celebrated writer Bill Gaston, is the former chair of the creative writing department at UVic.

With the win, Gaston, who now lives in Vancouver, receives $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a two-week writing residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Runners-up include Alison Watt, who received $1,000 for Addendum —“Flora of a Small Island in the Salish Sea.” Watt lives on Protection Island near Nanaimo.

James is available for reading on the CBC Books website.

mdevlin@timescolonist.com