Intertidal poems win contest
March 01st, 2022
The winner of the 2022 Poetry Chapbook Contest run by Salt Spring Island’s Raven Chapbooks is Zoe Dickinson (at right), a Victoria-based poet and bookseller.
Dickinson won for her collection titled intertidal: poems from the littoral zone (Raven Chapbooks $22.95), which opens with a land acknowledgment for Indigenous peoples. She ponders how “this long slow genocide” has led to her choice to live upon land where “someone should be gathering camas bulbs.”
The judges, Jane Munro and Kevin Spenst said of Dickinson’s poetry: “From one-word lines to stanzas as big as sea-urchins, these poems take us to the littoral zone where sunlight and a scientist’s eye bring aquatic life to radiance. Adept with laying a poem out in space, witty – both bitingly and humorously – and wise! ‘no point in hanging on / to someone else’s shell,’ this emotionally complex chapbook portrays a sampling of those who live in this neighbourhood. It gives the reader swift, precise, and telling images to evoke what’s rarely said but readily recognized. We hear the music of space awash on a page; it conducts the breath and the phrasing of heart and mind. Through these multiple modes and lenses, ecologies are uncovered under the shadow of colonialism.”
Second Place – Celia Meade for THE ONES YOU LOVE
Third Place – Diane Massam for EVERY NOW AND THEN
Susan Alexander for BERBERITZEN
Dan MacIssac for OLD TONES
Maureen Stephenson for THE FAMILIAR WORLD
Zoe Dickinson’s poetry is rooted in the Pacific coastline, with a focus on local ecology and human relationships with nature. She has been published in literary journals such as Existere, Prairie Fire, and Contemporary Verse 2, and her chapbook, Public Transit, was published in 2015 by Leaf Press. She is the co-artistic director of the Planet Earth Poetry Reading Series. Her day job is manager at Victoria’s Russell Books.
Raven Chapbooks is an independent press located on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, founded by Diana Hayes. This family venture first began in the late 1990s as Rainbow Publishers with five full length books published at that time. The press has now turned its focus to poetry chapbooks featuring emerging and established British Columbia poets. Its mandate is to create beautifully designed chapbooks in small editions and to support poets by providing a launching pad for wider audiences.
Raven Chapbooks started its Poetry Chapbook Contest in 2021.