Water by Emily Swinkin
2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist
Emily Swinkin has made the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize longlist for Water.
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 Emily Swinkin
Emily Swinkin is a poet and a neurologist. A native of Toronto, she traveled the country during her medical studies but always found herself pulled homeward. She currently lives in her hometown where she practices and teaches neurology at the University of Toronto which alternately inspires and hampers her sporadic writing habit. Her poetry has been published in a variety of journals including Acta Victoriana, the University of Toronto Magazine and the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Entry in five-ish words
"Through pleasure and sadness, continue"
The poems' sources of inspiration
"I love having plants around but was having terrible luck keeping a cactus alive. It started looking worse and worse so I tried watering it more and eventually it started to rot and died of over-watering. It struck me that I didn't know anything about caring for succulents, and this was a metaphor for many relationships in life and medicine.
We can savour our days for both their sweetness and their sadness.
"You can approach someone or something with the best of intentions but sometimes what we have to give isn't what is truly needed. It's easy to be overwhelming when we care deeply. On the other hand, we can also do everything possible, everything right and still not get the outcome we want. I see this in the practice of medicine and in life in general. We can savour our days for both their sweetness and their sadness."
The cactus craves salvation
from the rain driving its point
home deep to the roots.
Succulent beauty needing so little to survive,
the tender rush, leaky chaos, of water
is almost too much for it to bear.
Desert charm no match for the element
that kisses it with coolness, drowns it in mercy.
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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