CBC Literary Prizes

A Song for Thunder Hills (after Terry McClintic) by Ashley Hynd

Ashley Hynd has made the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for A Song for Thunder Hills (after Terry McClintic).

2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Ashley Hynd is a poet with mixed ancestry who lives on the Haldimand Tract. (Janice Jo Lee)

Ashley Hynd has made the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for A Song for Thunder Hills (after Terry McClintic).

The winner of the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their work published on CBC Books and attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their work published on CBC Books.

The shortlist will be announced on Nov. 14, 2019. The winner will be announced on Nov. 21, 2019.

About Ashley

Ashley Hynd is a writer with mixed ancestry who lives on the Haldimand Tract and respects the Mitigyag, Manidoosh, Niiwozid, Bineshiinhyag, Gaa-babaamaadagewaad, Attawandron, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee relationships with the land. She was longlisted for the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize, shortlisted for Arc's 2018 Poem of the Year and won the 2017 Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine, Canthius, Room, Prism International, SubTerrain, Grain, Cv2, Vallum and The Malahat Review. Ashley sits on the editorial board for Canthius and runs a monthly brunch for local writers called Poets & Pancakes.

Entry in five-ish words

We all have a voice.

The poem's source of inspiration

"My close friend and I were on our way for a hike. She mentioned how beautiful the sky line was and I couldn't hold its attention. She was in awe of the trees lining the highway and I was angrily watching the signs along the highway. After sitting with this for some time I realised it was because a couple days before another friend and I were talking and she said, 'Well, the PCs will have a field day with that whole transfer thing.' I had no idea what she meant, so she told me that a woman who was convicted of first-degree murder was transferred to a healing lodge. At first, I leaned fairly heavy toward agreeing with this transfer because the justice system of settler colonial society feels like a fairly broken system in my heart. Later when she left, I looked up more about the situation, I read several articles about the transfer as well as several about the original crime.

"After discovering the details of this crime, I felt utterly conflicted. I hadn't realised how deeply I was carrying this story until the moment where all I could see on the highway was how we were driving the same route that McClintic & Rafferty had drove with Tori in the back seat; how we got off the highway at the same exit; how we drove that whole way with no idea who was in the cars beside us or if they had harmful intentions. On our hike, we found this beautiful old cedar by a stream and sat with her for hours. I started singing, and after some time this poem came. We finished our hike and drove the back roads home."

First lines

oh neeeeeey 
                                 oh neeeeeey
                                                                       oh neeeeeey  
                                                                                                             oh neeeeeey
morning   broke   harvest   into   Indian   summer
we  drove  for  hours  to  walk  her  sticky  heat
closed     upon     my     heart     heavy     memory
highway   lined   with   changing   trees—ghosts
that are    unnoticed         neglected             afraid
no  birds  circling  sky  only  distance  crouched
in  the  back  seat—amber  resin  stuck  to  cloud
we  get  off  at  the  very  same  exit  only  we
 turn the other way


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