The Centre Man by Karl Meade
2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist
Karl Meade has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for The Centre Man.
Karl Meade is a novelist and poet living on Salt Spring Island. He has been longlisted for the CBC Nonfiction Prize and the CBC Poetry Prize, shortlisted for Arc Poetry Magazine's Poem of the Year and shortlisted for the Malahat Review's Open Season Creative Nonfiction Award. His work has appeared in numerous literary magazines in Canada and the U.S., such as the Literary Review of Canada, Contemporary Verse 2, The Fiddlehead, Event, Open Letter and Chronogram. His novel, Odd Jobs, was a ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year finalist for Humour, and an iTunes Top 20 Arts and Literature Podcast.
Entry in five-ish words
Pro hockey player turns Buddhist.
The story's source of inspiration
"I played hockey seriously in my youth, and in my adult years became increasingly interested in meditation and Buddhism. It's always struck me how often elite athletes talk about being in the moment, how you have to let go of a bad performance or a bad goal, and specifically in hockey, how The Code works: what you say and do on the ice comes back to you. Which kind of sounds like karma. I decided to try this idea: what if a pro hockey player, whose right-winger and road-trip roomie is his team's enforcer, becomes a Buddhist?"
I didn't mean to come out of the closet. I let one thing slip in an interview, the reporter caught it, led me on and before I knew it I'd laid myself open. Then everyone wanted to get me. And Ray took it as his job to protect me.
The first time he cut his knuckles in my defense was in Montréal. A November Saturday night, the Maple Leafs — Habs classic.
"They're going to kill you, Gil," Ray said, before the game, after my now-famous interview.
"It was the truth," I said.
About the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize
The winner of the 2019 CBC Short Story 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.