Reading the Bronwen Wallace Award Winner

Who I Think About When I Think About You
By Irfan Ali

Re-Origin of Species
By Alessandra Naccarato

Roads Home
By Chuqiao Yang

E-chapbooks presented by the Writers’ Trust of Canada – RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers


Despite the kind of major corporate sponsorship that you figure might preclude anything riskier than introspective free verse or drole academia, the annual RBC Bronwen Wallace Award (given to members of the under-35 literary set who have not yet published full-fledged collections) actually aligns with some daring impulses.

The work of 2015 winner, Alessandra Naccarato, for example, showcases a short series of clipped yet sprawling, dark mini-epics set in a haunted poetry-scape where “(h)ope is white bone in the beak of a buzzard”. The selections from the other finalists are just as gripping and mature, and maybe a bit more streetwise: Irfan Ali’s lyrical meditations are slower-paced but much more sensual, while Chuqiao Yang’s pop culture pop-ups reflect a wide palette of imagery and broad range of emotion, pouring out anger, beauty, passion and humour.

Sure, the condensed nature of the electronic chapbooks showcasing the nominated work helps concentrate the quality of each poet; but the award and accompanying releases certainly direct attention to arresting new voices who have micropress edge and professional poise.

Direct yours here.


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