Literary Prizes·CBC Literary Prizes

from THE BOOK OF SMALLER by rob mclennan

rob mclennan has made the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for from THE BOOK SMALLER.

2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

rob mclennan is a poet from Ottawa. This is his second time making the CBC Poetry Prize longlist. (Matthew Holmes)

rob mclennan has made the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for from THE BOOK SMALLER.

About rob 

The author of more than 30 trade books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, rob mclennan is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with poet Christine McNair. His most recent titles include The Uncertainty Principle: stories and the poetry collection A perimeter, with two further full-length poetry titles forthcoming in 2018. His chapbook press, above/ground press, is coming into the quarter-century mark. He spent the 2007/2008 academic year in Edmonton as writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta. 

Entry in five-ish words

An assemblage of prose poems

The poem's source of inspiration

"Given my wife's second maternity leave ended this past April, and preschool ended for our big girl in June, I knew I'd have a shorter attention span for writing this year. Since December, I've been working on 'the book of smaller' as a manuscript of short, essay-poems, circling around geography, current events and children/domestic. I'd been the year aiming to complete the manuscript this fall, once our big girl began junior kindergarten, and the wee one began preschool; once that occurred, I aimed to rebuilt a larger attention span for the possibly of short fiction…"

First lines

Civilization is neither prose. How long is a yardstick. Berate the invention of silt, the edge of a sudden season. Sentences are no longer in fashion. All images are clustered: Jesus was never your co-pilot. When you scan the sky, what have you. Once upon a time is deliberately evasive. Ants are the only creatures fulfilling exactness. Is this not a country. We are never at rest.