CBC Literary Prizes

Saturday morning, East Pender Street by Y. S. Lee

Y. S. Lee has made the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Saturday morning, East Pender Street.

2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Y. S. Lee is a poet and author living in Kingston, Ont. (Scott Adamson)

Y. S. Lee has made the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Saturday morning, East Pender Street.

The winner of the 2021 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. 18 and the winner will be announced on Nov. 24.

If you're interested in the CBC Literary Prizes, the CBC Nonfiction Prize opens in January and the CBC Poetry Prize opens in April.

About Y. S. Lee

Y. S. Lee's work has won Arc Poetry Magazine's Award of Awesomeness in July 2020 and shortlisted for Australian Book Review's 2021 Peter Porter Poetry Prize. Her fiction includes the YA mystery series The Agency, which has been translated into six languages. Her first picture book is forthcoming from Groundwood Books. She lives in Kingston, Ont.

Entry in five-ish words

"Streetscape, child's eye, cloudy identity"

The poem's source of inspiration

"Vancouver's new notoriety as the anti-Asian hate crime capital of North America prompted me to think about its many waves of Asian immigration and related questions of race, language and belonging."

First lines

Wet sidewalk, glut of scents pressed close 
in the shade: mineral rain, orange peel, saltfish, blunt 
offal, blast of perming fluid. Midway down the block, sly
curl of wok hei I chase with my nose. 
Don't get lost! 
A cool adult hand squeezes mine.

About the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize

The winner of the 2021 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 2022 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January. The 2022 CBC Poetry Prize will open in April.

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