Canada’s CBC Books Names Five Finalists for Its 2022 Poetry Prize

In News by Porter Anderson

The winner of the CBC Books Poetry Prize wins 6,000 Canadian dollars, with an emphasis on social issues among this year’s shortlist.

The five finalists selected for the 2022 CBC Poetry Prize are, upper row from left, Rachel Lachmansingh, Brad Aaron Modlin, and Luka Poljak. On the lower row, Kerry Ryan and Bren Simmers. Image: CBC Books

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

Winner To Be Named November 24
Like its annual show and competition Canada Reads, the CBC’s (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Poetry Prize program is another enviable example of the public services performed by CBC Books.

That program’s literary prizes include not only this poetry competition, but also one in nonfiction and one in short stories. In the case of the Poetry Prize, most of the five finalists announced today (November 17) have considerable experience and are professionally published writers, although the rules for entering the competition requires that an entry be “an original, unpublished poem or collection of poems up to 600 words in length (with no minimum words limit). The program, then, highlights previously unpublished content.

CBC Poetry Prize 2022 Finalists

Links for each finalist’s work are to CBC’s write-ups on the writers selected. On those writers’ pages, you’ll find all or part of each al

Lachmansingh is a Guyanese Canadian writer from Toronto. She’s been published in Minola Review, Grain, the Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, The Puritan and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing her bachelor of arts degree in creative writing at the University of Victoria. Lachmansingh was also longlisted for the 2022 CBC Short Story Prize for The Window of a Stranger’s House.

Modlin is a creative writing professor and poet. His work has been used for orchestral scores, an art exhibition in New York, and has been featured on The Slowdown with U.S. poet laureate Ada Limón and Poetry Unbound from public radio’s On Being Studios. His book Everyone at This Party Has Two Names won the Cowles Poetry Prize.

Poljak is a Croatian Canadian poet currently in the bachelor of fine arts degree program at the University of British Columbia. He’s a board member of the nonprofit YouthCO and is currently working on his first chapbook of poetry.

Ryan has published two books of poetry: The Sleeping Life and Vs., which was a finalist for the Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry. Her third poetry collection, Diagnosing Minor Illness in Children, is to be released in the spring. Ryan was previously longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2020 for Driver’s Seat & Grief Knot. 

Simmers is the author of four books, including the wilderness memoir Pivot Point and Hastings-Sunrise, which was a finalist for the Vancouver Book Award. Her most recent collection of poetry is If, When. She was previously longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize in 2013 for I Blame MASH For My Addiction To MLS and in 2012 for Science Lessons.

Winner To Be Named on November 24

Three jurors have handled this year’s prize entries: Armand Garnet Ruffo, Megan Gail Coles and Hoa Nguyen.

The five finalists have been selected from an original entry pool of 2,200 submissions, and the winner is to be announced on November 24 and will be given a cash prize of 6,000 Canadian dollars (US$4,501) from the Canada Council for the Arts. In addition, the winner gets a two-week writing residency at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity in Alberta.

Each finalist receives 1,000 Canadian dollars (US$750).

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 194th awards-related report in the 208 publication days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.


More from Publishing Perspectives on book awards is here. More on ‘Canada Reads is here, and more on the Canadian publishing market is here.

More on the still-ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson 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 an arts critic (Fellow, 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.