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Contest

Announcing the 2021 Diana Brebner Prize Winner and Honourable Mention

Winner: “Kaytlyn invites me to a party” by Dessa Bayrock

2021 Judge Sheniz Janmohamed had this to say:

“’Kaytlyn invites me to a party’ has such a strong poetic voice and I feel as though the poet is speaking directly to me. A very grounded, vulnerable and human voice. There are questions waiting for answers, like the eyes of a friend glaring at me for a response or some reassurance. The poet seamlessly interweaves the motifs of rosehips and cicadas with their own inner state. Such an unexpected metaphor, and there’s a beautiful quirkiness about it!”

 

Dessa Bayrock lives in Ottawa with two cats, one of whom is very loud and almost always nearby. She used to fold and unfold paper for a living at Library and Archives Canada, and is currently a PhD student in English, where she continues to fold and unfold paper. She has two chapbooks with Katie Stobbart: The Trick to Feeling Safe at Home (Coven Editions, 2021) and Worry & Fuck (forthcoming from Collusion Books). You can find her, or at least more about her, at dessabayrock.com, or on Twitter at @YoDessa.

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an upper body photo of Miriam Tepper in a brown sweater, with brown hair and white skin-

Honourable Mention: “Neither” by Miriam Tepper

2021 Judge Sheniz Janmohamed had this to say:

“’Neither’ is deceptively simple, I find it stayed with me for days after I read it. Like a koan. That last stanza—”Only pennies / in the fountain / And a kite tangled in a tree”—is such a powerful lingering metaphor. To be what someone wishes for, and to be a dream tangled up, unfree. Stunning.”

 

Miriam Tepper dictated stories to her mother before she was able to write. As a teenager, she spent every summer at Duke University’s Young Writers’ Camp. She writes poetry and short stories in a variety of genres, and won first prize from the George Johnston Poetry Awards and has been published in Bywords. She was selected to present her poetry and short stories at Carleton University’s Literary Awards Showcase Competition in 2019 and 2020, and had her poetry included in a gallery exhibit. She is working on her first novel.

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Congratulations to both poets on some great writing!

 

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Learn more about the Diana Brebner Prize.

Learn more about this year’s judge of the Diana Brebner Prize, Sheniz Janmohamed.