CBC Literary Prizes

Walking in Space by Tanis MacDonald

Tanis MacDonald has made the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Walking in Space.

2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist

Tanis MacDonald is a poet and a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University who lives in Waterloo, Ont. (John Roscoe)

Tanis MacDonald has made the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Walking in Space.

The winner of the 2021 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. 18 and the winner will be announced on Nov. 24.

If you're interested in the CBC Literary Prizes, the CBC Nonfiction Prize opens in January and the CBC Poetry Prize opens in April.

About Tanis MacDonald

Tanis MacDonald lives on traditional Haudenosaunee land in southwest Ontario, otherwise known as Waterloo. She was born and raised in Winnipeg and has worked as a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University since 2006. Her last book of poems, Mobile, was longlisted for the Toronto Book Awards in 2020. Her essay Mondegreen Girls won the Open Season Award for Creative Nonfiction from the Malahat Review in 2021. Her poems have recently appeared in Grain, Prairie Fire and the Fiddlehead.

Entry in five-ish words

"A rope bridge, a family history"

The poems' sources of inspiration

"I've been thinking about the pitfalls of personal and familial history since the death of my parents. I was recently in a workshop where we were talking about ancestor poems and I thought, 'I have no idea how to write about my ancestors.'

I was recently in a workshop where we were talking about ancestor poems and I thought, 'I have no idea how to write about my ancestors.'

"A trip to Northern Ireland in 2018, in which I was one of only a few people in my group to walk across the slim rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede, seemed the perfect place to start writing about my sporadic courage, the erosion of history and not having ground beneath my feet."

First lines

Hard to be sure but I'm 
guessing you would have been 
proud of me at Carrick-a-Rede, that tip
of Northern Ireland's wild west
coast, at the rope bridge across
the Irish Sea to the volcanic 
plug named Rock in the Road because 
salmon used to swim around it 
to spawn in the River Bann. 

About the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize

The winner of the 2021 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 2022 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January. The 2022 CBC Poetry Prize will open in April.

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