Literary Prizes

Joseph A. Dandurand, Catherine Graham and Tolu Oloruntoba to judge 2023 CBC Poetry Prize

The winner will receive $6,000, a two-week writing residency and have their work published on CBC Books. Submissions are open until May 31, 2023!

The winner will receive $6,000, a writing residency and have their work published on CBC Books

Collage of side by side photos from left to right of Joseph A. Dandurand, Catherine Graham and Tolu Oloruntoba
From left: Joseph A. Dandurand, Catherine Graham and Tolu Oloruntoba are the judges for the 2023 CBC Poetry Prize. (Peter Arkell, Marion Voysey, Franctal Studio)

Joseph A. Dandurand, Catherine Graham and Tolu Oloruntoba will judge the 2023 CBC Poetry Prize.

The CBC Poetry Prize recognizes an original, unpublished poem or collection of poems, up to 600 words in length.

The winner will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point and have their work published on CBC Books.

Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their work published on CBC Books.

The 2023 CBC Poetry Prize is open for submissions until May 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET. 

Poet, storyteller, and playwright Joseph Dandurand is a member of the Kwantlen First Nation and director of the Kwantlen Cultural Centre. His book of poetry, The East Side of It All, was shortlisted for the 2021 Griffin Poetry Prize. Dandurand received the 2021 BC Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence. In 2022, along with his poetry collection The Punishment, he was the winner of the Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize. His book for children, The Girl Who Loved the Birds is forthcoming in 2023.

WATCH | Joseph A. Dandurand shares his poetry:

'As the city sleeps': Joseph A. Dandurand poignantly captures life on the streets in his poetry

2 years ago
Duration 0:50
Dandurand's most recent book of poetry, The East Side of it All, is on the Canadian shortlist for the Griffin Poetry Prize.

Catherine Graham, an award-winning poet and novelist. Her nine books include Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric, a finalist for the Trillium Book Award, Toronto Book Award and winner of the Fred Kerner Book Award. Published internationally, she co-hosts The Hummingbird Podcast and teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We're Dead: New and Selected Poems is her latest book. Graham lives in Toronto, where she teaches creative writing and leads the Toronto International Festival of Authors Book Club.

LISTEN | Catherine Graham on The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers:
Catherine Graham on the Complete Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Joanna Goodman on Stephen King's On Writing.

Tolu Oloruntoba is a writer from Nigeria who now lives in Surrey, B.C. He practiced medicine for six years, and has harboured a love for writing poetry since he was 16. His latest book of poetry, Each One a Furnace, was released in 2022.

LISTEN | Tolu Oloruntoba on Q: 
Tolu Oloruntoba is an award-winning poet who received the Governor General's Award for English-language poetry — one of the top literary awards in Canada — just a few months ago. But before that prize and before he moved to Canada, Oloruntoba was a practicing doctor in Nigeria where he was born and raised. His education meant he had to move around a lot, first to different cities in Nigeria and then eventually across an ocean. He joined Tom Power to discuss his new collection of poems, Each One a Furnace, which is inspired by that journey and what it means to migrate.

Oloruntoba's debut poetry collection The Junta of Happenstance won the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for poetry and was the Canadian winner for the 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize. He's also the founder of the literary magazine Klorofyl.

LISTEN | Tolu Oloruntoba on The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers:
Tolu Oloruntoba talks to Shelagh Rogers about his poetry collection, on Each One a Furnace.

The jury will select the shortlist and winner. A panel of established writers and editors from across Canada review the submissions and will determine the longlist from all the submissions. The longlist, shortlist and winner will be announced in fall 2023.

Last year's winner was P.E.I. poet Bren Simmers for her poetry collection Spell World Backwards

The CBC Literary Prizes have been recognizing Canadian writers since 1979. Past winners include Alison Pick, David Bergen, Michael Ondaatje and Carol Shields.

Need a little motivation to get you going? Subscribe to the CBC Poetry Prize newsletter.

If you're looking to submit to the French poetry prize, you can enter here

The 2024 CBC Short Story Prize will open in September and the 2024 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January.

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