A Song for Thunder Hills (after Terry McClintic) by Ashley Hynd
2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist
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.
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."
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