CBC Literary Prizes

Mothers by Michael Johnson

Micheal Johnson has made the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Mothers.

2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Michael Johnson is the author of How to Be Eaten by a Lion and lives with his family in Penticton, B.C. (Kashka Clellamin)

Micheal Johnson has made the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Mothers.

About Michael 

Michael Johnson was born and raised in Bella Coola, B.C. He is the author of How to Be Eaten by a Lion, and his work has appeared widely in literary journals including The Fiddlehead, Shenandoah, Mid-American Review, The Malahat Review, The Southern Review and in the Best American Poetry and Best Canadian Poetry anthologies. He lives with his family in Penticton, B.C., and works at a local winery.

Entry in five-ish words

The language of flowers

The poem's source of inspiration

"I was struck by the significance of flowers, their type, colour, how we give them to the dead, to the sick, to loved ones. I was reading about floriography, and an early draft of this piece resulted."

First lines

Every babeled tongue spoke
this petaled shibboleth,
found in djinn forests
where sun spilled like sand
in the cracks and dazzled on things
in a way only a broken heart can speak.

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