CBC Literary Prizes

& this too by Tina Do

Tina Do has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for & this too.

2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Tina Do is a poet from Vancouver. (Submitted by Tina Do)

Tina Do has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for & this too.

The winner of the 2020 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. 5 and the winner will be announced on Nov. 12.

About Tina Do

Tina Do is a poet, unashamed dinosaur aficionado and MA student at Simon Fraser University living and working on the unceded traditional and ancestral territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the Səlil̓wətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Kwikwitlem and xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. She was honoured with her first publication credit this year through The /tƐmz/ Review, and hopes to continue writing in the coming months. These days, you can catch her reading up on whether or not dinosaurs had lips and trying not to over-love her plants.

Entry in five-ish words

"A tired but hopeful rumination."

The poem's source of inspiration

"On one of my shifts at the café I work at, I had a customer demand I find someone else to make their drink. They asked if there was anyone working who 'didn't look like [me]' — there wasn't. It was not the answer they wanted. They got angry and stormed out. A short while after that, all the headlines about racist attacks on members of the Asian community began pouring forward. I remember changing the way I carried myself outside: I slouched, shrunk my shoulders to look smaller, tried to take up less space. I would talk to my mother in English in public, as if holding the common language on my tongue would help me regain my sense of belonging.

Belonging is something all of us perhaps struggle with, and that while good things may come to pass, so do the bad.

"About a week after my experience with the customer in the café, I met a woman on the street who was handing out masks to people who needed them. She reminded me that belonging is something all of us perhaps struggle with, and that while good things may come to pass, so do the bad — the poem came out shortly after."

First lines

they throw acid on a woman that looks like me
— but not really —
outside her home & the newscaster says Asian                     
like the colour of her skin is an invitation
for the violence.
I keep it from my parents, drag clattering bins out
in the morning & pretend the light of day is a refuge

they stab a man that could have been my uncle — but isn't — 
thirteen times outside a store. the newscaster stumbles
over his name,
a tongue twister of foreignness
& I keep this from my mother —
say mama instead of mẹ
trade cảm ơn for thank you
tell her to call me Tina, not con —
hope no one will hear us mark words
with a foreign tongue and think of it as a violence

About the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize

The winner of the 2020 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 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January. The 2021 CBC Poetry Prize will open in April.

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