CBC Literary Prizes

Three Body Problem by Chantal Gibson

Chantal Gibson has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Three Body Problem.

2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Chantal Gibson is a writer, artist and educator from New Westminster, B.C. (Marianne Meadahl)

Chantal Gibson has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Three Body Problem.

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 Chantal Gibson

Chantal Gibson is a writer, artist and educator working in the overlap between visual and literary art. Her debut book of poetry, How She Read, won the 2020 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, the 2020 Pat Lowther Memorial Award and was shortlisted for the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her visual art has been exhibited across Canada and the U.S., including an installation honouring Black Canadian Artists in the Senate of Canada until June 2021. She teaches writing and design communication in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University.

CBC Books named Gibson a 2020 Writer to Watch

Entry in five-ish words

"A family's descent into chaos."

The poem's source of inspiration

"Many, many years ago someone told me a story they 'heard on the news' about a kid slipping from his father's shoulders, and it changed me. The images in my head, the shock, the pain, the grief, the chaos, the quiet. I can't remember who told me the story, I don't even know if it's true — but I still can't look at a shoulder-high kid without wincing. That's sad. So, I wrote a poem and made a place for the sad."

First lines

It's the Idea of us, the Equation, so simple, so elegant, so
inspired, that slips away in slow motion the moment I reach

for it, your creamed coffee breath, your warm unhurried lips,
your cerise lipstick telling me again to take the car, because

it looks like rain, because you don't need it, don't forget
to pack his Spiderman raincoat, to pick up a few groceries
after class, the list is on the fridge, don't forget. I can hear

the sweet chup-chup of your morning kisses, as soothing as
the sound of your keys in the front door at six. It's seven-

thirty. You grab the red umbrella and leave your ancestors'
sun rising on our baby boy's right cheek.

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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