CBC Literary Prizes

"Painting the Curlew" by Matthew Hollett

Matthew Hollett has made the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for "Painting the Curlew".

2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Matthew Hollett is a visual artist and writer in St. John's, Nfld. (Matthew Hollet)

Matthew Hollett has made the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for "Painting the Curlew".

About Matthew

Matthew Hollett is a visual artist and writer in St. John's, Nfld. He won the Malahat Review's 2017 Open Season Award for creative nonfiction and was longlisted for the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize and the 2016 PRISM international Creative Non-Fiction Contest. His work has been published most recently in Riddle Fence and PRISM international. In 2017 he became the first Newfoundland Quarterly Creative Non-fiction Fellow.

Entry in five-ish words

Brushing up against (un)natural history.

The story's source of inspiration

"Lifting an extinct bird from a cardboard box, and feeling how light it was."

First lines

"The eskimo curlew lives in a nest of cardboard and cotton, the size of a shoebox, and the curator wears cotton gloves when she picks it up to show us. The feathers on its belly have a distinct swirl that reminds me of the way wind rustles long grass. The curlew has no eyes, since the specimen was prepared in 1869. Nathalie, the curator, tells us that its skull is intact, but otherwise its bones have been replaced by cotton batting. The eskimo curlew is extinct."

About the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize

The winner of the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, will have an opportunity to attend a 10-day writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and have their story published on CBC Books and in Air Canada enRoute magazine. Four finalists will receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their story published on CBC Books

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