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2021 League of Canadian Poets Longlists
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2021 League of Canadian Poets Longlists

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The League of Canadian Poets is thrilled to announce the 2021 Book Awards longlists for the Gerald Lampert and Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and the Raymond Souster Award. Missing from our list are Washes, Prays, by Noor Naga; Sick, by Jody Chan; Hell Light Flesh, by Klara du Plessis; Nautilus and Bone, by Lisa Richter;
Response of Weeds, The

Response of Weeds, The

A Misplacement of Black Poetry on the Prairies
edition:Paperback
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Excerpt

Grown in Alberta
In Michigan
they will point to a spot
on the palm of their right
hand
when you ask
where are you from?
For Michiganders
the hand is the simulacrum
for substitute belonging.
First came the hand
then the map
then the hand again
The map's handsome substitute.
But first-first came the cold
and then the mitten:
the map's handsome substitute.
On the Canadian prairies
the cold is your constant contender
the cold is always first-first.
Once I dreamed of an empty grain elevator
sheathed in brittle ice.
I wanted to get inside
but each time I chipped
at its door, I felt an enervating
pang in the hollow of my abdomen.
I wanted to get outside
but each time I chipped at its door, I saw a glinting
mirrored surface magnifying my actions.
Everything went cold
my breath
undusted diamonds suspended before me.
A landscape was hinted in its spaces.
I would have placed my hand up against it,
the curl of my fingers
settling along the foothills,
but at times like these you can't help thinking about
those prototype fools in stories
baring the substitute cold to their tongues,
the very wording of my verisimilitude belonging.
And, Canada, you would not believe
how often a Michigander
never asked me
where are you from?

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
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Burning Sugar

Burning Sugar

edition:Paperback
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award
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The Gospel of Breaking

The Gospel of Breaking

edition:Paperback
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award
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Lost Cafeteria, The
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
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ZOM-FAM
Excerpt

he passed the peacocks perched on mango trees /roosting in the precinct of the temple /he entered the courtyard /removed his sandals /rinsed his feet /circled the temple three times /breathed deeply/ & finally stepped across the doorway /as the first light of the day /washed over the sculpted /eyes of a thousand & one gods /he bowed to each one of them /praying praying /praying praying /they'd protect me from the towers /of mofinn looming over my destiny/

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
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Where Things Touch

Where Things Touch

A Meditation on Beauty
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
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Bones

Bones

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
More Info
Excerpt

Under the moonlight
The softness that night gives us

 

the earth rising to meet

 

in snow - or the glow of trilliums, where there is enough sound in a breath

 

in here I speak

 

gently step
and story weave

 

sending out a thread of me

 

like a foot's condensation drying on a summer floor

 

hoping the memory of me survives

 

in the eyes of others

 

I'll speak of blood

 

and wounds and beauty in terrible things

 

the way the wind pulls a thousand leaves down an empty street

 

and when they settle - we look up

 

to trace the direction of the wind

 

 

 

 

 

On your birthday I remember the cake she made

 

that we didn't expect;
our faces masks of fear.

 

(we never liked the unexpected)

 

we sat staring at the cake and her smile, twitching.

 

her dark moments began to show a lot those days,

 

you assured me with a wink

 

something other than me
would break.

 

 

 

 

 

when a child learns
amid the fear of something

 

terrible

 

the fragility of their parent,

 

something shatters inside them,

 

the dual crush

 

of fear and empathy.

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Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, Nominated for the Raymond Souster Award
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Bittersweet

Bittersweet

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : canadian
More Info
Why it's on the list ...
Nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award
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