CBC Literary Prizes

Unseasonal, Stone Fruit, In the Tape, Athabasca by Owen Torrey

Owen Torrey has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Unseasonal, Stone Fruit, In the Tape, Athabasca.

2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Owen Torrey is a writer from Toronto. (Zoe Kertes)

Owen Torrey has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Unseasonal, Stone Fruit, In the Tape, Athabasca.

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 Owen Torrey

Owen Torrey is a writer from Toronto. His poetry and nonfiction have recently appeared in publications such as Hello Mr., Exclaim! and Painted Bride Quarterly. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and featured at the Toronto International Book Fair. Torrey is studying history and literature at Harvard College, where he is President of The Harvard Advocate, the oldest collegiate literary magazine in the United States.

Entry in five-ish words

"Locating change."

The poems' source of inspiration

"Rupture happens on different scales — communal and personal, material and ideological. The lines that separate these spheres, however, are often imprecise. These four poems were written out of a desire to question the tidy divisions we mark up between system and self, asking how moments of change reveal networks of interdependence — between here and there, one thing and another.

These four poems were written out of a desire to question the tidy divisions we mark up between system and self, asking how moments of change reveal networks of interdependence — between here and there, one thing and another.

"What happens, exactly, when a season becomes unrecognizable, when a wound opens on a body, when a place vanishes from a map? What becomes absent in their wake, and what persists? These poems seek to catalogue the experience of living amongst rupture — and, critically, trying to imagine beyond it."

First lines

Unseasonal

There is always a cold day in April.
This is that day. Last year's was spent
at a party with wine, leeks, nothing
that was not spring. It was at Jack's
fifth-floor walk-up with windows
that never quite closed. Light along
the emptied glasses, air clear & all
around us. Mid-pour, Jack says
he's started "grounding" — a word
for walking in a field to feel it.
"It's crazy — what the earth gives us
when we just ask.
" I can feel that
day running beneath me, it is thin
ice under foot. 

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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