CBC Literary Prizes

Another Sunday in a Square in Aleppo by Antony Di Nardo

Antony Di Nardo has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Another Sunday in a Square in Aleppo.

2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Antony Di Nardo is a writer living in Cobourg, Ont. (Ann Di Nardo)

Antony Di Nardo has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Another Sunday in a Square in Aleppo.

The winner of the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their work published on CBC Books and have the opportunity to 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. 5 and the winner will be announced on Nov. 12.

About Antony Di Nardo

Antony Di Nardo is the author of five books of poetry and his most recent, Gone Missng, was published this year. His long poem suite, May June July, won the Gwendolyn MacEwen Poetry Prize in 2017 and can be found in his collection of poetry, Skylight. His other books are Roaming Charges, Alien, Correspondent and Soul on Standby. His work has appeared in various anthologies, has been translated into several languages,and is published in journals across Canada and internationally. Born in Montreal, he divides his time between Cobourg, Ont. and Sutton, Que.

Entry in five-ish words

"No such thing/as innocent bystanding." 

The poem's source of inspiration

"I can be a poet of place, my cues come from immediacy, and the results account for a lyrical chronicle of people and spaces. The last time I visited the old medieval city of Aleppo was 2010 when I was living in Beirut, the year before the war began in Syria. Back then I wrote a poem I published called Sunday in a Square in Aleppo praising the light, admiring the ease of the locals, revealing the classic, white-washed beauty of the square known as Saahat al-Hattab. I left my impressions of that place and its people on the page.

I can be a poet of place, my cues come from immediacy, and the results account for a lyrical chronicle of people and spaces.

"Now, the recent war has ravaged the city and from photos I've seen, very little remains of that old square and I can only imagine what I would observe and write. So, in this poem, Another Sunday in a Square in Aleppo, a sequel of sorts, an aftermath, I return to that same square as I conceive it bombed and destroyed, and pan 360 in wide-frame shock to witness the human anguish and implicate myself again as the poet-bystander who relies on broken-line narratives to exalt in what language can do."

First lines

Understanding indigo and molecules,
starry nights and satellites,
the consequential impact of IEDs,

barrel bombs, foreign policies,
the cost of reparations and reconciling
differences, these all have a place

in the human agenda,
and two men who have never
spoken to each other begin a conversation

About the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize

The winner of the 2020 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 the 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 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January. The 2021 CBC Poetry Prize will open in April.

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