CBC Literary Prizes

Of by Sheri Benning

Sheri Benning has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Of.

2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Sheri Benning is a writer from Saskatoon. (Carey Shaw)

Sheri Benning has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Of.

The winner of the 2020 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. 5 and the winner will be announced on Nov. 12.

About Sheri Benning

Sheri Benning's fourth collection of poetry, Field Requiem, is forthcoming with Carcanet Press in summer 2021. Her most recent collection, The Season's Vagrant Light: New and Selected Poems, contains work from her previous books, Thin Moon Psalm and Earth After Rain. Her poetry, short fiction and essays have appeared in Canadian, British and Irish literary journals and anthologies. She was shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize in 2015 and longlisted for the same prize in 2017 for her story Those Who Have Not Seen and Still Believe. She currently lives in Saskatoon.

Entry in five-ish words

"Not to recall, but to imagine... (to borrow from Eavan Boland's poem, First Year)"

The poems' source of inspiration

"In one way or another, I've been thinking about these women all my life. The poems are part of a longer series in my forthcoming collection, Field Requiem."

First lines

Of

            Rosalie née Tobin. Twenty-six, 1983.
She sits in her used LTD Ford Station wagon,
Co-op parking lot. Marriage on the rocks,

parents soon dead — lung cancer, heart attack.
July thunderstorm in the south sky. Supercells bloom
behind the hockey rink, the gutted stockyard.

Three kids under five buckled in the backseat.
She can feel their stare on her
sunburned shoulders, knows they know

she's crying again, so she cranks the radio.

About the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize

The winner of the 2020 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 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January. The 2021 CBC Poetry Prize will open in April.

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