CBC Literary Prizes

Birthmark, Motherfield by Diana Hope Tegenkamp

Diana Hope Tegenkamp has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist with Birthmark, Motherfield.

2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Diana Hope Tegenkamp is a Métis writer living in Saskatoon. (Submitted by Diana Hope Tegenkamp)

Diana Hope Tegenkamp has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Birthmark, Motherfield.

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 Diana Hope Tegenkamp

Diana Hope Tegenkamp is a Métis writer living in Saskatoon. She stands gratefully on Treaty 6 Territory, homeland of the Métis, as she explores the possibility of language to shape and question reality. Diana's writing has appeared in CV2, Grain, Matrix, Queen Street Quarterly Review and Tessera. Her poetry manuscript, Arterial & Quarry, is in the process of finding its publishing home. Her second in-process poetry manuscript is Many Good Places: Rediscovering the Métis and Settler Place-Worlds of My Parents.

Entry in five-ish words

"Earth-spangled, half-moon, derelict motherlove"

The poems' source of inspiration

"The inspiration behind the poem Birthmark was my need to connect with my family history through imagery, memory, language and imagination. There are five sections in the poem, which creates a kind of braiding effect. Separate moments with my mother and my father resonate and call to one another. 

My need to connect with my family history through imagery, memory, language and imagination.

"The inspiration behind the poem Motherfield is the ongoing presence of my mother in my life. I was looking for ways to speak about and engage with her presence — with her being present — while also knowing that this was something wordless and mysterious that could not be fully named or achieved."

First lines

Birthmark

   *

Dawn is buffalo in the fog,
because buffalo is the sweetest part of it.
I sit at the desk in front of the window,
the chief's messenger, east smudged between concrete.
On the other side of the river, Mom is reading
in her chair, her little dog at her feet.
Dawn is the half-moon speckled by tawny dark,
because moon is the closest I can get to it.

   *

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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