CBC Literary Prizes

Our Feedback Loop, Our Fractal, Our Never-Ending Pattern by Adrienne Gruber

Adrienne Gruber has made the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Our Feedback Loop, Our Fractal, Our Never-Ending Pattern.

2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Adrienne Gruber is a writer from Vancouver. (Dennis Hill)

Adrienne Gruber has made the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Our Feedback Loop, Our Fractal, Our Never-Ending Pattern.

The winner will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and will have their work published by CBC Books.

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

The shortlist will be announced on Sept. 24. The winner will be announced on Oct. 1.

About Adrienne

Adrienne Gruber is the author of three books of poetry, Q & A, Buoyancy Control and This is the Nightmare, and five chapbooks. She won SubTerrain's Lush Triumphant poetry contest in 2017, the Antigonish Review's Great Blue Heron poetry contest in 2015 and her chapbook Mimic was awarded the bp Nichol Chapbook Award in 2012. In 2016, she made the longlist for the CBC Poetry Prize. Originally from Saskatoon, Adrienne lives in Vancouver with her partner and two daughters.

Entry in five-ish words

"Parenting a child struggling with anxiety."

The story's source of inspiration

"My daughter and I saw an exhibit on fractals at Science World when she was five and struggling with emotional self-regulation. About a year later, when her outbursts worsened, my partner and I began seeing a child psychologist to help us with strategies on how to parent a child with anxiety."

First lines

There are glass boxes of butterflies and fossils and leaves. We examine the complexity of wings with a magnifying glass, noting the unique fractal dimensions as the veins subdivide. The formation of a butterfly wing pattern is the result of a complex coordination of processes, timing and genetics. Each factor blends together; pigmentation, pattern element size, shape, position and symmetry, all of which is established after the caterpillar enters its pupal stage.
 
My daughter comes home from kindergarten and points out fractals. In the laminate flooring, on her stripy socks, in the succulents on the windowsill, in her sister's tangled hair.
 
To classify a dynamical system as chaotic it must have certain properties: Sensitive to initial conditions. Topologically transitive. It must have dense periodic orbits.

About the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize

The winner of the 2020 CBC Nonfiction 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 Short Story Prize is currently open for submissions. The 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January. The 2021 CBC Poetry Prize will open in April.

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