CBC Literary Prizes

Fallow by Kirsteen MacLeod

Kirsteen MacLeod has made the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Fallow.

2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Kirsteen McLeod is a writer living in Kingston, Ont. (Submitted by Kirsteen MacLeod)

Kirsteen MacLeod has made the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Fallow.

The winner of the 2021 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. 18 and the winner will be announced on Nov. 24.

If you're interested in the CBC Literary Prizes, the CBC Nonfiction Prize opens in January and the CBC Poetry Prize opens in April.

About Kirsteen Macleod

Kirsteen MacLeod is a writer who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but has lived in Toronto and Brazil. Her poetry, essays and short stories have appeared in literary journals and anthologies such as the Literary Review of Canada, CV2, the Malahat Review and Arc Poetry. She has been a finalist for awards including Arc Poetry's Poem of the Year and the CBC Nonfiction Prize. She is the author of the nonfiction book In Praise of Retreat and the short story collection The Animal Game. She lives in Kingston, Ont. and teaches yoga. MacLeod is writing a poetry collection about embodied life.

Entry in five-ish words

"Unpredictable nature and our lives."

The poem's source of inspiration

"This poem was inspired from when I was recently married. I was watching my husband gardening and I suddenly wondered whether we would have children. I wrote a draft of the poem at the time, which was 25 years ago.

I was watching my husband gardening and I suddenly wondered whether we would have children.

"It was one of the first poems I ever wrote. Over the years, whenever it randomly resurfaced from the chaos of my files, I worked on it. Finally this year I felt it was finished."

First lines

My lover sprays water,
thumb held over the hose-end.
Green collard leaves, sage and wildflowers — 
he scatters mystery seeds so
we never know what to expect.

About the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize

The winner of the 2021 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 2022 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January. The 2022 CBC Poetry Prize will open in April.

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