Canada’s CBC Poetry Prize Names Its Five 2020 Shortlisted Writers

In News by Porter Anderson

The five shortlisted writers for the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize have only a week to find out which of them will win. The CBC Books program carries each of the shortlisted poems on its site.

From left: Andrea Scott (image: Elliot Scott-Bigsby); Emily Riddle (image: Conor McNally); Hiromi Goto; Matthew Hollett (image: April White); and Selina Boan (image: Kayla MacInnis) have been shortlisted for the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize. Images: CBC Poetry Prize

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

An Initial Pool of Almost 3,000 Entries
Announced today (November 5) by CBC Books in Toronto, five writers have been shortlisted for the 2020 CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Poetry Prize.

The award program this year drew 2,930 entries from many parts of Canada–the largest submission tally on record.

This year’s winner is to be announced a week from today, on November 12.

A purse of 6,000 Canadian dollars (US$4,598) goes to the winner, along with a two-week residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Banff, Alberta, and publication on the CBC Books site. Each of the remaining four shortlisted finalists gets 1,000 Canadian dollars (US$766).

Publishing Perspectives readers are familiar with CBC Books because of its production each year of the televised competitive literature program, Canada Reads.

CBC Poetry Prize 2020 Shortlist

Links in our shortlist here are to pages on the CBC Books site with information about each writer and the text of her or his poem.

Jurors in this year’s program are:

  • Poet, sound performer, and writer Kaie Kellough
  • Poet, novelist, and essayist Dionne Brand
  • Author and poet Stephen Collis

The shortlist is drawn from a 32-person longlist. The 2019 winner was Calgary writer Alycia Pirmohamed for her collection of poems, Love Poem with Elk and Punctuation, Prairie Storm and Tasbih. There’s also a French-language edition of this prize program, too, the Prix de poésie Radio-Canada,

The CBC Books program is supported by Canada Council for the Arts, and includes not only the Poetry Prize but also the CBC Nonfiction Prize and CBC Short Story Prize.

Longlisted writers for the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize. Image: CBC Books


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Canadian market is here, more from us on book and publishing awards programs is here, more on poetry is here, and more from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the world publishing industry is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As as an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.