Shelter Object by Stephanie Bolster
2017 CBC Poetry Prize longlist
Stephanie Bolster has made the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize for Shelter Object.
Stephanie Bolster has published four books of poetry. The first, White Stone: The Alice Poems, won the Governor General's Literary Award for poetry and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award in 1998. Her latest book, A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth, was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Work from Long Exposure, her manuscript-in-progress, from which Shelter Object is also drawn, was a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2012. She was born in Vancouver and teaches creative writing at Concordia University in Montreal.
Entry in five-ish words
The Chernobyl disaster is in us
The poem's source of inspiration
"While the devastating impact of the Chornobyl disaster has remained with me since I first heard the news as a teen, I was drawn to writing about it through a combination of artistic sources: Robert Polidori's collection of photographs (Zones of Exclusion: Pripyat and Chernobyl), Svetlana Alexievich's nonfiction book Voices from Chernobyl, and Andrei Tarkovsky's film Stalker, which — though released seven years before the accident in 1986 — may have shaped the mood of this poem more than any documentary source."
The constellations made of fear. Chaos
where a shape was. Stars where a roof.
A fire where a place. The world
asleep in its bed. The world irrevocable.
The heat unfathomable. The task at hand.
Already acute in hospital.
Soon coffins of zinc. Soon
they'd gut the wards of the dead.