Poetry Contest Winners

Continuing our on-going celebration of our contest winners, today we present the three finalists in the Poetry competition. Let's meet the judges:




Bernice Lever gets high on words. A poet with 8 poetry books, including, Never A Straight Line, 2007, she has also written a college textbook and other non-fiction works. Living on Bowen and retired from college English teaching, she
gives editing and marketing advice, and writing workshops. She enjoys performing her poems and prose pieces as she has read on 5 continents. Best known as editor of Waves, a literary magazine from 1972-1987, Bernice has won awards for her
poems, such as the Wm. Henry Drummond poetry prize, 2008. She continues to write on this peaceful island.


Susan McCaslin is a full-time poet. Her most recent volume of poetry is Lifting the Stone (SeraphimEditions, 2007). She has edited two anthologies on sacred poetry, A Matter of Spirit and Poetry andSpiritual Practice, and is on the editorial board
of Event: the Douglas College Review. Her work will appear in the upcoming West coast anthology,Rocksalt. Susan lives in Fort Langley, British Columbia where she is currently completing a new poetry cycle called Demeter Goes Skydiving and working on a book on the poetics of mystical experience called Into the Mystic.

And now -- the winners! 

Honourable Mention:

The Secret

by Virginia McCausland

We feared our fathers,
my friend and I,
those hard-muscled, leather-faced men
who filled our homes like Sherman tanks
demanding dinner, quiet, more beer.

Her mother’s perfume, Evening of Paris
hovered in the air between us
shrouding her secret
in a blanket of jasmine, rose, lilac and peony
while she sat on the edge of the bed,
a stilled wind chime,
not expecting anything from me
but the safety of my room.


Congratulations, Virginia!

Honourable Mention:

Walking With Water

by Dan Neil

A boy walking with water
and the day opens its white eye
to a cracked and ruined earth

All is used and dust
and he walks on stones
to sup the old ones
breathing still


Congratulations, Dan!

First place:

Testimony Suite

by Angela Long

i.) elena
they raped me beneath the bridge to Santa Catarina I remember a glint of gold in the
moonlight my family disowned me for months I begged in a country of beggars
dug lime from the mountainside with bare hands the women would not buy it
to bind their tortillas would not feed my filth to their sons so I began to wait
beneath the bridge to Santa Catarina I needed quetzales but they were poor farmers
too drunk to be rough their firewater kept me warm it is cold in the mountains at night

ii.) mateo
I remember sucking bean broth from the tip of his moustache his eyes were as dark
as roasted coffee beans he was my father no I can’t remember anything else except
the butterflies they were as big as my head in colours I hadn’t yet imagined they were
iridescent no I don’t remember the soldiers only the bodies afterwards they were
piled on top of the coffee beans left to ferment in the sun


Congratulations, Angela!

Remember, if you'd like to read more, drop me a line at kcdyer@siwc.ca. Anthologies are still available for $12 plus postage.

Tomorrow -- the final category. Storyteller's Award!


also blogging as leftwriter