Our Feedback Loop, Our Fractal, Our Never-Ending Pattern by Adrienne Gruber
2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist
Adrienne Gruber has made the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Our Feedback Loop, Our Fractal, Our Never-Ending Pattern.
The shortlist will be announced on Sept. 24. The winner will be announced on Oct. 1.
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."
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.
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.