CBC Literary Prizes

A Dialectical Discussion with Self Upon Meeting Her Husband's Mistress... by Una McDonnell

Una McDonnell has made the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for A Dialectical Discussion with Self Upon Meeting Her Husband’s Mistress a Week After a Failed IVF Attempt.

2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Una McDonnell has been nominated for multiple CBC Literary Prizes for her short stories and poetry. (David Irvine)

Una McDonnell has been has made the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for A Dialectical Discussion with Self Upon Meeting Her Husband's Mistress a Week After a Failed IVF Attempt.

About Una

Una McDonnell has recited her work at readings and music festivals, on top of café tables and, on one occasion, in a boxing ring. She holds an MFA in creative writing from UBC. Her writing has appeared in Arc, The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, Rampike, Musings: An Anthology of Greek-Canadian Literature and Decalogue: Ten Ottawa Poets. She has been shortlisted for The Montreal International Poetry Prize and Prism International's Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize. She was also finalist for the 2008 CBC Poetry Prize and was longlisted for the 2017 CBC Short Story Prize.

Entry in five-ish words

Undiagnosed forces kill a marriage

The poem's source of inspiration

"I'm fascinated by the idea of the alternate lives we could live and critical moments that shift the trajectory of a life in a new direction. Particularly, how small and sometimes ridiculous these moments can be as they bump up against the illusions we have about ourselves, our loved ones, our plans for our lives. As a young person, I thought the road between where I was and where I was headed would be relatively direct. The view from middle age shows an alarmingly craggy, winding path, with more than a few detours."

First lines

An opened, egg-releasing ovary
looks like a fork.   
A fallopian fork
in the road.

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