CBC Literary Prizes

Call me Fresh Meat by Lisa Mulrooney

Lisa Mulrooney has made the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Call me Fresh Meat.  

2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Lisa Mulrooney is a poet and teacher based in Stony Plain, Alta. (Al Dixon)

Lisa Mulrooney has made the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Call me Fresh Meat.

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 Lisa

Lisa Mulrooney is the first poet laureate of Stony Plain, Alta. She is an active member of Edmonton's poetry community and participates regularly in local readings, festivals and events. She is the president of Parkland Poets' Society and serves on the boards of both Edmonton's Stroll of Poets Society and the Writers' Guild of Alberta. One of Lisa's poems was shortlisted for The Malahat Review's 2019 Open Season Award for poetry and her work recently appeared in the spring 2019 issue of The Maynard.

Entry in five-ish words

Portrays methodical complexity of abuse.

The poem's source of inspiration

"During the month of April 2019, I participated in a daily poetry challenge with members of Edmonton's Stroll of Poets Society. One of those challenges resulted in this poem.

"The prompt was '10 things,' and I thought it would be interesting to write about something that could be done in 10 different ways. Reminded of the phrase, 'There is more than one way to skin a cat,' I decided to research how many ways there might be to do just that. As I discovered what is involved in skinning an animal, I was struck by the complexity of the process. I also found myself disturbed by how the process could be described so methodically, and even as an art form, by those who are able to disengage with the fact that the 'medium' was so recently a living and breathing creature.

"Many years ago, I was in an abusive relationship that, in a lot of ways, stripped me of my own identity. As I was putting together my thoughts for this poem, reading about hunting, killing, and preparing an animal for taxidermy, I was reminded of incidents from my own past. I found myself saddened and still surprised by how a strong and independent person can essentially become a shell of their former selves.

"Poems sometimes have a mind of their own, and this one was no exception. It wanted to be written."

First lines

Case skinning: best done fresh
with a small, sharp knife
a few incisions
at the back of the legs
Inconspicuous.
Work slowly toward the head
pulling the hide inside out
Sock-like.
The head is hardest to skin
only take it so far on the ears
cut the eyelids loose
trim as much flesh as you can.
Salt it, roll it up, bag it, freeze it.

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