Thursday, November 8, 2018

CBC Poetry Prize

I'm doing very little freelance work these days because I'm doing a lot more other work than I used to, but one thing I did recently was serve as a reader for CBC's annual poetry contest. It's a complex process, with twelve readers each assessing over 500 entries (I read 515) and submitting a list of their top 12. There is some overlap, as I understand it--i.e., there aren't 6000+ entries, but over 2500--so they must aggregate the lists somehow to come up with their longlist of 30, which is then whittled to a shortlist of 5, before a winner is finally crowned. Three of my picks made the longlist, including my top pick, a poem called "Migrations" by a poet named Mark Wagenaar, who also had another entry make the longlist. I only learned the identity of the author when the list was published, because the judging is completely blind. Wagenaar's name and work wasn't known to me (which shows how little attention I pay to these contests normally, since he won it in 2015) previously, so this was one of the bonuses of doing this work. Wagenaar's poem, I will say, was easily my first choice, so I was disappointed that it didn't make the shortlist. But so it goes with contests.

No comments: