To the Core's Exciting Poetry Prizes!

49th Shelf's To the Core contest was a joy to run and to read; it featured selections from notable Canadian authors like Cathy Marie Buchanan and Miranda Hill as well as inspired choices from avid 49th Shelf community readers. To the Core submissions together formed a quiet, powerful testament to the paradox of good poetry: abundance delivered through spareness. Contributors wrote eloquently about the profound effect these snippets of words have had on their lives:

  • Kaarina Mickalson, who chose a verse from "elbow jab" by Rita Wong, wrote: "I had no idea that anyone could put into words that heart wrenching feeling I had for my hometown."
  • Jen Selk, who chose something from Joe Cummings' "Hunting Season," wrote: "I don't know why this affects me, exactly, but somehow, the image of the bear stripped of its fur has stayed with me, and I find myself thinking of it from time to time, years later."
  • Jennifer Dawson, who chose a bit from from Sonnet L'Abbé's "LOVE," wrote, "when i read poems i am always paying attention to how my body feels when i am reading."
  • Sanchuri Sur, who chose a stanza from "thirsty" by Dionne Brand, wrote, "I love all of Brand's poems for being visceral, but this one in particular touches a chord in my previously broken heart."

Many others provided wonderful thoughts about how their poetry choice for the contest touched—or walloped—them in a way they've never forgotten. You can read their contributions in the comments field beneath the To the Core contest blog post. We thank you all for your participation.

We have now drawn five winners for the contest and will be contacting them—maybe you!—today. Here are the details of the books that will go into the prize packages provided by our generous sponsors House of Anansi, McGill-Queens University Press, Brick Books, and the Griffin Trust.

Each winner will receive a new poetry collection from Anansi, which may include a very limited, special hardcover edition of Under the Keel by Michael Crummey, 1996 by Sara Peters, or The Polymers by Adam Dickinson.

Each will receive a copy of Sandra Djwa's Journey With No Maps (McGill-Queen's University Press), the first biography of P.K. Page, a brilliant twentieth-century poet and artist.

Each will receive Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems (Brick Books) by Randall Maggs, of which the Globe and Mail writes, "This may be the truest hockey book ever written ... It reaches a level untouched by conventional sports literature."


And each will receive The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology 2013.

May 2, 2013
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