Poetry Contest / Concours de poésie

 

2022 CLC Poetry Contest Winner

 

The CLC, MacEwan, and Athabasca University extend our heartfelt congratulations to Meghan Eaker, whose poem “nitohtamok êkwa wiya manâpekiswek” was selected as the winner of the 2022 CLC Poetry Contest!

Meghan Eaker (she/her) is an amiskwaciywâskahikan-based poet, registered nurse, and beading artist of mixed european and nehiyaw ancestry and is a member of the Woodland Cree First Nation in treaty 8 territory. She is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Alberta studying storysharing as a practice towards miyo pimatisiwin (a good life).

Read the winning poem below and listen to Meghan give a reading!

The contest judges, Professors Marla Epp (MacEwan), Jocelyne Le Ber (Athabasca), and Michael O'Driscoll (University of Alberta) wrote: “This is a beautifully constructed poem that is at once economical, powerful, and compelling. The poem's precise and evocative verse focuses on listening as an intergenerational experience that produces a collective triumph of song and poetry, expressed through metaphors of musical collaboration and the author's humble contribution as a 'magpie voice.' The Cree title and speaker's address to 'nimosompan,' or grandfather, contributes to the poem's inspiring assertion of voice and community.”

Congratulations also to Mikayla Bortscher, whose poem "CPR for a Heterotroph" received an honourable mention.

The judges commented: "This poem offers the reader a wonderful process of discovery, as the sensuous details of the scene gradually come into focus with a synaesthetic richness that merges colour and sound, mimicking the gradual convergence of human and natural time and experience. The striking colours of the poem--synthetic red lipstick and chlorophyll green--sound as much as they show this encounter that demonstrates a profound attunement to the non-human world. Formally, the poem's rhythm, internal rhymes, and visual prosody are evidence of an accomplished poetic that accentuates the poem's evocative imagery."

Thank you to all who submitted to the contest this year, as well as to our partners: MacEwan, Athabasca University, Edmonton Poetry Festival, University of Alberta Press, NeWest Press, & Athabasca University Press.

 

clcualberta · Meghan Eaker reads "nitohtamok êkwa wiya manâpekiswek" - 2022 CLC Poetry Contest


 
nitohtamok êkwa wiya manâpekiswek
 
on his deathbed
nimosompan asked me
 
do you understand?
 
i’m not sure, i replied
but i have been listening
 
when i will have need of these teachings
i know the memory of your voice
will come to me
then, i will understand
 
when the teachings i was not yet ready
to follow become inscribed
in my bones by the hand
of experience
then, i will know
 
listen to my magpie voice
can you hear the layered harmonies?
 
when i speak
i do not speak alone
 
my voice is a chorus of many generations
 
i cannot take credit
for this poetry alone
it is not mine
 
it belongs to all the echoing
voices past, present, and future
that sing it into being
 
translations:
nitohtamok êkwa wiya manâpekiswek – listen, then speak with care
nimosompan – my late grandfather/great-uncle

 

2022 CLC Poetry Contest: "Listening/écoute"

 

The Canadian Literature Centre, MacEwan University, and Athabasca University are once again teaming up to bring you the 2022 CLC Poetry Contest! We’re looking for the best poem in English or in French from a University of Alberta, MacEwan University, or Athabasca University student on the theme of “Listening.”

Entrants should submit their poem in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format, without any identifying information in the document, to clccomm@ualberta.ca by March 14, 2022. Please include name, email address, phone number, mailing address, departmental and university affiliation in the body of the email, and use the subject line: “Last Name: CLC Poetry Contest."

Le Centre de littérature canadienne de l’Université de l’Alberta (CLC), en collaboration avec l’Université MacEwan et l’Université Athabasca, vous invite à participer à son Concours de poésie 2022. Nous sommes à la recherche du meilleur poème en français ou en anglais écrit par un étudiant ou une étudiante de l’une des trois institutions, qui porte sur le thème "Écouter."

Chaque participant devra soumettre leur poème dans un seul fichier anonymisé de format .doc, .docx ou .pdf et l’envoyer à clccomm@ualberta.ca au plus tard le 14 mars 2022. Veuillez inclure votre nom, courriel, numéro de téléphone, adresse postale et affiliation départementale ou universitaire dans votre courriel, puis utilisez la formule suivante dans le sujet du message : “VOTRE NOM DE FAMILLE: Concours de poésie du CLC”.

 

2021 CLC Poetry Contest Winner

 

Congratulations Céline Caruso Dixon, whose poem "When Honey Drips" was chosen as the winner of the 2021 CLC Student Poetry Contest!

The contest judges, Professors Marla Epp (MacEwan), Evelyne Gagnon (Athabasca), and Jordan Abel (University of Alberta), praised the poem’s “strong point of view,” well-crafted rhythm and pacing, and “rich imagery.” Showing “a wide historical context entangled with more intimate moments,” this “resonant and powerful poem” “invites us to listen attentively, to open our minds and our hearts to this engaging experience of beauty and resilience.”

Céline Caruso Dixon recently completed her third year as a Political Science student at the University of Alberta. Her passion for social justice movements has brought her to be part of many associations and groups including being the previous President for the Black Students Association at the UofA as well as the founder of ZION, an open mic series in Edmonton that is a healing space for all, specializing in poetry, performance art, and music.

 

Read the winning poem and listen to Céline Caruso Dixon give a reading!

 

clcualberta · Celine Caruso Dixon reads "When Honey Drips" - 2021 CLC Poetry Contest

 

When Honey Drips

Let the melanin drip like honey down my body
Broad noses, Thick lips, Curly hair
Trust me when I tell you that Black beauty
That this melanin, is power
They told us you need to straighten your hair without ever recognizing that our curls
Told the paths of freedom braided into our scalps
The blood of our ancestors run through us
The melanin drips from us like honey
Let me explain to you what privilege looks like because black bodies know the word
As it rolls off our tongue and caresses our thoughts
We have never felt warmth in its presence
I foolishly screamed “SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK”
My mistake, you see we have always been told to get to the back they have taken over the front seat
I do not need to say it to the people who already understand what it means.
And our melanin drips a little darker, now mingled with red
You see our beauty is defined with in our pain I’m sure you see the trends
The box brains, the long nails, The hoops, The use of vernacular
I’m sure you see the similarities between us and these trends
Our beauty wasn’t meant to be commodified, our beauty, our culture, our presence
Let me tell you the joys of being Black
One: Our food is made through loving hands, coloured with spices of distant lands some turned into our home
Two: Our hair. A symbol of beauty. My Afro puff, bantu knots, cornrows, wraps, weaves, wigs and more my hair is not a symbol for you to touch. I don’t know where your hands have been anyways
Three: Vernacular. We speak in a way that symbolizes our history. Our ability to code switch has nothing to do with us and everything to do with you.
Four: Thick lips came naturally for us we speak with power and love even harder, we were conditioned to look at them as a Nuisance as we watch lip fillers become popular
Five: Our culture. Broad and wide we have adapted to create culture where ever we are. We are from the world. African, Caribbean, African American, Afro Latin our culture although diverse showcases the beauty we have.
And our melanin drips as if it was glowing
Trust me when I tell you that black beauty that our melanin is powerful
Black hymns run through us and formulate jazz blues rock and roll rap rhythm and blues
Our voices despite being pushed down have thrived and only become louder
And our melanin drips for longer
When I tell you our beauty has come from pain
Take a look at our history
You don’t need to go that far
Last summer was another showcasing of our blackness becoming pain
We stand with them
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmed Aubrey
And the thousands of others
If cameras weren’t around would you believe us
And our melanin drips tingling off our finger tips
Like honey it is sweet to the taste
It has history, it has culture, it is beauty
When I tell you our Blackness is beautiful
I don’t say it to reassure myself because of our history
I say it because Blackness is the embodiment of beauty
And we will forever let our melanin drip like dark honey from our fingertips.

 

2021 CLC Poetry Contest: "Reckoning and resilience/responsabilité et résilience"

 

The Canadian Literature Centre, MacEwan University, and Athabasca University are teaming up to bring you the 2021 CLC Poetry Contest! We’re looking for the best poem in English or in French from a University of Alberta, MacEwan University, or Athabasca University student on the theme “reckoning and resilience.”

Entrants should submit their poem in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format, without any identifying information in the document, to clccomm@ualberta.ca by March 15, 2021. Please include name, email address, phone number, mailing address, departmental and university affiliation in the body of the email, and use the subject line: “Last Name: CLC Poetry Contest."

Le Centre de littérature canadienne de l’Université de l’Alberta (CLC), en collaboration avec l’Université MacEwan et l’Université Athabasca, vous invite à participer à son Concours de poésie 2021. Nous sommes à la recherche du meilleur poème en français ou en anglais écrit par un étudiant ou une étudiante de l’une des trois institutions, qui porte sur le thème "responsabilité et résilience."

Chaque participant devra soumettre leur poème dans un seul fichier anonymisé de format .doc, .docx ou .pdf et l’envoyer à clccomm@ualberta.ca au plus tard le 15 mars 2021. Veuillez inclure votre nom, courriel, numéro de téléphone, adresse postale et affiliation départementale ou universitaire dans votre courriel, puis utilisez la formule suivante dans le sujet du message : “VOTRE NOM DE FAMILLE: Concours de poésie du CLC”.

 

2020 CLC Poetry Contest Winner

 

Congratulations Skye Haggerty, whose poem "paper tree" was chosen as the winner of the 2020 CLC Poetry Contest!

Skye Haggerty is a Métis writer from the bush, North of Amiskwaciywaskahikan. As the granddaughter of a traditional artisan, her childhood was spent dabbling in various crafts and gathering material from nature. Despite relocating to the city, not much has changed in this regard and her various pursuits seem to always find her wandering the muskeg of memory.

Click here to listen to Skye reading "paper tree."

 

 

 

 

2020 CLC Poetry Contest: "Literary ecologies/écologies littéraires"

The Canadian Literature Centre, MacEwan University, and Athabasca University are teaming up to bring you the 2020 CLC Poetry Contest! We’re looking for the best poem in English or in French from a University of Alberta, MacEwan University, or Athabasca University student on the theme “Literary Ecologies.”

Entrants should submit their poem in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format, without any identifying information in the document, to clccomm@ualberta.ca by March 13, 2020. Please include name, email address, phone number, mailing address, departmental and university affiliation in the body of the email, and use the subject line: “Last Name: CLC Poetry Contest."

Le Centre de littérature canadienne de l’Université de l’Alberta (CLC), en collaboration avec l’Université MacEwan et l’Université Athabasca, vous invitent à participer à son Concours de poésie 2020. Nous sommes à la recherche du meilleure poème en français ou en anglais écrit par un étudiant ou une étudiante de l’une des trois institutions sur le thème “Écologies littéraires.”

Les participant.e.s doivent soumettre leur poème dans un seul fichier anonymisé de format .doc, .docx ou .pdf et l’envoyer à clccomm@ualberta.ca au plus tard le vendredi 13 mars 2020. Veuillez inclure votre nom, courriel, numéro de téléphone, adresse postale et affiliation départementale ou universitaire dans votre courriel, puis utilisez la formule suivante dans le sujet du message : “VOTRE NOM DE FAMILLE: Concours de poésie du CLC”.

 

2019 CLC Poetry Contest: "Re/Placing Language/re/placer le langage"

2018 CLC Poetry Contest: "Transactions and Exchange Values/transactions et valeurs d'échange"

 

2017 CLC Poetry Contest: "The Ordinary and the Everyday/l'ordinaire et le quotidien"

2016 CLC Poetry Contest: "Conversation"

2015 CLC Poetry Contest: "Emergence and Renewal/émergence et renouveau"

2014 CLC Poetry Contest: "The 21st Century"