CBC Literary Prizes

Recipe Keeper by Sasha Carney

Sasha Carney has made the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Recipe Keeper.

2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Sasha Carney is a poet from Ottawa, living in the U.K. (Submitted by Sasha Carney)

Sasha Carney has made the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Recipe Keeper.

The winner of the 2019 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 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. 14, 2019. The winner will be announced on Nov. 21, 2019.

About Sasha

Sasha Carney is an undergraduate student majoring in English and women's, gender and sexuality studies at Yale University. Originally from Ottawa, they currently live in the U.K. and work as a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal and as the creative director of Voke Spoken Word, an LGBTQ-centric spoken word group. They are a two-time winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and their work has been published by Marías at Sampaguitas, Nightingale & Sparrow, Kissing Dynamite and The Yale Herald.

Entry in five-ish words

Bubbling, simmering, sweet tension building.

The poem's source of inspiration

"I had been thinking a lot about domesticity and gender and interpersonal connection, and the strange tension between deeply loving the intimacy and tenderness formed by cooking, and being deeply angry at the way that that very vision of cooking has been violently wielded as a patriarchal tool of gendered subjugation, and wondering if there was any way to reconcile that. I had also just made several jars of my mother's tomato chutney, and it all came together in a poem."

First lines

to love is to simmer chutney in a stainless steel pot   to love is to sweat
out tomatoes in              distilled white vinegar & cradle them like the head
of a newborn   just thick & heady enough        to round out your infertile palm.   Oh!
to slip the pads of your thumbs over skin         half-clinging   pulp spurting   &

there's something terribly     tender                  erotic about the way your fingers could crush
them into ecstasy                 and just                don't                  quite
and your foremothers learned to love               before stovetops      snuck tonguekisses
in storecupboards       where men didn't           dare tread

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