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Poetry Prize

CBC Poetry Prize: And the winner is...

Canada Writes, with our partners the Canada Council for the Arts, Air Canada's enRoute magazine and The Banff Centre, are pleased to announce the Grand Prize winner of the CBC Poetry Prize
Out of the more than 2,300 entries sent in to the competition, one Grand Prize winner and four finalists were chosen in English.

The Grand Prize winner is…

Sadiqa de Meijer cr Wendy Luella Perkins.JPG

The jury was comprised of Canadian poets Julie Bruck, Patrick Lane and Dennis Lee. Said the jury of her work:

“With telling and resonant detail, ‘Great Aunt Unmarried’ evokes the relationship between its speaker and three elderly aunts. ‘We went for a drive in nature. Two of them tied ivory / kerchiefs around their home permanents, while the third / muttered a curse on vanity, and we folded into a sedan …’ The sequence speaks in a deceptively quiet voice, with an assurance which catches the poignancy of these maiden ladies’ lives. Both tender and funny, the poems fulfill Octavio Paz’s demand of poetry - they ‘resurrect presences’.”

Sadiqa de Meijer will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, and her prizewinning poem “Great Aunt Unmarried” will be published in the October edition of enRoute Magazine and on the Canada Writes website. She will also receive a two-week residency at The Banff Centre’s Leighton Artists’ Colony. 

Sadiqa's poetry, short stories and essays have appeared in a number of literary journals, as well as in the Best of Canadian Poetry in English series and in the anthology Villanelles. “Great Aunt Unmarried” is a selection from her first poetry manuscript. Born in Amsterdam and raised in various places, she lives with her family in Kingston.

To find out the winner of the Prix du poésie Radio-Canada, our French-language poetry prize, please visit Zone d'écriture.

The Grand Prize winners will be celebrated at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto this fall. The public is invited to come hear Sadiqa read from her work as part of an event held during CBC Day at IFOA (Saturday, October 20 at 4 p.m.).


Four other poets were named finalists by the jury. They are: 

Each runner-up will receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts. All poems are available to be read on the Canada Writes website. 

Congratulations everyone! 

To compete in the next CBC literary competition, please visit the CBC Short Story Prize page.

Photo credit: Jeni Juranics

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