CBC Literary Prizes

Root (six poems) by Franco Cortese

Franco Cortese has made the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Root (six poems).

2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Franco Cortese is an experimental poet living in Thorold, Ont. (Brittany May Cortese)

Franco Cortese has made the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Root (six poems).

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 Franco

Franco Cortese is an experimental poet living in Thorold, Ont., with his wife, Brittany May, and their son, Maverick. His work has appeared in Canadian Literature, The Capilano Review, filling Station, ditch and others. His recent chapbooks include aeiou, uoiea and teksker. He also has leaflets, booklets, nanopamphlets and other poetic ephemera out through The Blasted Tree, Penteract Press and Spacecraft Press. His work has been published in Canada and abroad, most recently in the anthology Concrete and Constraint.

Entry in five-ish words

Etymontological-worldtongues uprooted and repermuted anew.

The poem's source of inspiration

"This cycle of poems comes from a manuscript-in-progress titled Root. Each of these micropoem quintets consists of a central parataxic piem made up of words sharing the same Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root, complimented by four perfect line-unit anagram poems that permute each piem's constituent letters into new meaning. The PIE language is the linguistic reconstruction of the hypothetical common ancestor of all Indo-European languages — an unwritten ghost haunting a great many tongues both living and dead. As such, these poems play the pluricrown part of grave robber, grounds keeper and grim reaper. Each striving to be a world, they try (and flail) to encircle aspects of humanity that are timeless and evertrue: death, theft, identity, empire. Flux of meat, flux of field. Of border and of order."

First lines

Rifés

Rip fascistic red
Republics, ribcrest
Precincts in red covers
Stitch stiff prop crests,
Trip profit, richness.

Sire F

If red citric saps
Rest republic cribs,
Drip corvine crescents,
Pits scoff, stretch, spirt
Err chips, spirit font.

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