CBC Literary Prizes

Sweetgum (7 readings of the I Ching) by Kim Trainor

Kim Trainor has made the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Sweetgum (7 readings of the I Ching).

2018 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Kim Trainor is a poet from Vancouver. (Courtesy of Kim Trainor)

Kim Trainor has made the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Sweetgum (7 readings of the I Ching).

About Kim

Kim Trainor's second book, Ledi, describes the excavation of an Iron Age horsewoman's grave in the steppes of Siberia. She has won the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, the Gustafson Prize and the Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest. Her poems have appeared in the Global Poetry Anthology and the Best Canadian Poetry in English. She teaches at Douglas College and lives in Vancouver.

Entry in five-ish words

Blue sweet sour clear flesh.

The poem's source of inspiration

"Sweetgum is an excerpt from my next book, Bluegrass: ghazals, which consists of 64 ghazals, one for each hexagram of the I Ching — the Book of Changes. It begins with heartbreak upon the ending of one relationship and then follows the trajectory of a new love. Within each ghazal there is a transcription of everyday reality, filtered through the lens of a given hexagram. The seed of each ghazal in Sweetgum is what happened on the day I was writing it: a news report on anti-immigration policies in America; my partner leaving to ski in the backcountry; a text exchange on Georgia O'Keefe's flowers; the sweet dark oblivion of the body."

First lines

Hexagram 43—Kuai

We talk for hours and then come
long silences. I retreat. You

hold yourself apart. The snow falls. My body
is lost for millennia in the ice.

You travel a great distance
across the steppe, pour cupfuls

of hot water. Use a small hammer. My scapula
chiselled out. My wing

About the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize

The winner of the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, will have their work published on CBC Books and will have the opportunity to attend a 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.


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