All posts tagged poetry

Neil Hilborn – “OCD” (Rustbelt 2013)

This video has been circulating for almost a week now. Poet Neil Hilborn talks about meeting and losing his girlfriend.  I found some of the comments around the web about his poem very interesting.   Read more…


CBC Books – Canada Writes – Poetry Prize!

Competition is now open!
Deadline to submit: May 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET

This prize is awarded once a year to the best original, unpublished, poem or poetry collection submitted to the competition. All Canadians can participate.

The competition is blind. A jury composed of well-known and respected Canadian authors will select a 1st place winner and 4 runners-up.

The First Prize winner will receive $6,000, courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts, and will have his/her poetry published in Air Canada’s enRoute magazine and on the Canada Writes website. He or she will also be awarded a two-week residency at The Banff Centre’s Leighton Artists’ Colony (details about the residency here), and will be interviewed on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers.

The 4 runners-up will each receive $1,000, courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts, and their stories will be published on the Canada Writes website.

Submissions to the poetry category must be between 400 and 600 words.

For more information:

My two cents:

I am surprised that this competition has a word minimum of 400 since Poetry of all the written forms can tend to be quite short.  I can’t submit anything I’ve posted here on my blog since according to the rules, it counts as “previously published” (does that mean I can tell people I am a published author? heh heh).  I am going to work on one new poem this week and see what happens.  This should be interesting since I am not used to writing what I consider to be “long” poems.


Nancy’s Quilt

She’s in her eighties now
At the end of a blessed life
Her husband has passed on already
But she continues to find joy
In her son and in his sons

Her grandsons tower over her
With their height and their strength
But she is not weak
They are all her babies still
When her adult grandson gets chicken pox
She buys calamine lotion and cares for him
She feeds him.  She fusses over him.

Today she is making that man a quilt
She chooses the material carefully
Bits of a special dress and
pieces from one of her husband’s
well-worn shirts
scraps of pretty and special material
collected over time

As she crafts the quilt slowly and quietly
sitting in her favourite chair
on a Sunday after Church
With happy thoughts of him
in mind

She would never know that
one day this blanket would not only
bring warmth and comfort to him
But would later be wrapped
gently around his wife as she slept
and that he would use it to cradle his newborn
On a Winter night in late December

That her love for her grandson
and the work of her hands
would extend to family
She would never meet

But maybe as she works
She knows
Better than even he does
What lays in store for him
As she works on her stitches
With a satisfied smile




















Image source:


For You&Yours

My friend has suffered

One of the biggest losses

Of her life

And last night

As I cried for her

I realized

How far grief can spread

And how deep

The love for a friend

Can run in one’s soul

And the frustration

That you can do nothing

To ease the pain

Of so many people

Who hurt so badly

For this stolen beautiful Light



little pleasures

We went walking at dusk

and stumbled upon a field of diamonds

We tried to get as close as we could

and let the diamonds dance before our eyes

We stood quiet and still

as the field sparkled in the dark

He tried to capture the scene forever

but technology failed us

Some things are just for a passing moment

though we can fight so hard for it not to be so


Poetry winner is a construction worker

Poetry prize goes to B.C. construction worker

CBC News

Posted: Apr 5, 2011 7:14 PM ET

Last Updated: Apr 5, 2011 7:14 PM ET

Garth Martens, 28, writes poetry and works construction.
Garth Martens, 28, writes poetry and works construction. (Writers Trust)

A construction worker from Victoria, B.C., who writes poetry won the $5,000 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers on Tuesday.

Garth Martens, 28, won the award for Inheritance and Other Poems, a selection from his work-in-progress manuscript titled The Motive of Machines.

“The curtain is raised on blue-collar work. Here’s a poet of sweat and ambition and all the sensory detail and wild character that builds a world. Heroic, this writer is smoother than concrete,” the jury said in its citation.

Martens serves on the editorial board of The Malahat Review. His writing has appeared in The Fiddlehead, Grain, Island Writer and the anthologyLeonard Cohen: You’re Our Man.

The literary prize for young unpublished writers alternates between poetry and short fiction. It is administered by the Writers Trust of Canada.

Two finalists receive $1,000. They are:

  • Raoul Fernandes, 32 of Vancouver.
  • Anne-Marie Turza, 34, of Victoria.

The Writers’ Trust received 120 submissions from young poets from across Canada before a jury selected the winner.

This just goes to show you that writers are hiding in plain sight everywhere 🙂


Canada Reads – Poetry

Canada Reads Poetry announces panellists, books

CBC News

Posted: Apr 8, 2011 12:26 PM ET

Last Updated: Apr 8, 2011 12:26 PM ET

Susan Musgrave is defending Selected Poems by Alden Nowlan, who died in 1983.
Susan Musgrave is defending Selected Poems by Alden Nowlan, who died in 1983. (Bruce Stotsebury)

CBC’s online books portal is launching a new version ofCanada Reads devoted to collections of poetry.

Five panelists — all poets — will defend their selections online and in essays published in the National Post newspaper over the next three weeks.

The debate will end with a live online chat. Then the public will choose a winner in a vote to end April 26.

The books chosen included works by acclaimed writers such as the late Alden Nowlan, a Fredericton poet and past winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, and Toronto’s Dionne Brand, who was nominated earlier this week for the Griffin and Pat Lowther poetry prizes.

The full list of competitors, with their defenders:

  • Forage by Rita Wong, defended by Sonnet L’Abbé.
  • Nox by Anne Carson, defended by Anne Simpson.
  • Inventory by Dionne Brand, defended by George Murray.
  • Selected Poems by Alden Nowlan, defended by Susan Musgrave.
  • Sheep’s Vigil by a Fervent Person by Erin Mouré, defended by Jacob McArthur Mooney.

Sheep’s Vigil is a translation, from the original Portuguese, of O Guardador de Rebanhos by 1920s and ’30s poet Fernando Pessoa, who wrote under the name Alberto Caeiro.

Carson draws on the Roman poet Catullus in her unusual, hand-bound book Nox, which is reflection on the loss of her brother.

Canada Reads Poetry can be followed online at CBC Books.


Will you follow the results of Canada Reads Poetry?  Does reading poems interest you? Why or why not?




I go through life forgetting you’ve died
And for what purpose it was all those tears that I cried

I pretend you’re on earth, waiting somewhere for me
But sometimes the darkness is all that I see

And then I don’t even know
The purpose of my life
Why you were torn from me
Why all this strife

When these feelings flow through me, I must have faith in my heart
That in Heaven we will be rejoined and for not one more day be apart.