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Winnipeg's Scoles wins national poetry prize

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Who says poetry doesn’t pay?

Winnipeg poet James Scoles, a creative writing teacher at the University of Winnipeg, has won 2013 CBC Poetry Prize for his poem The Trailer, according to an announcement from CBC’s Canada Writes, the online literary component of CBC Books.

His poem was selected from 1,400 works submitted to the competition this year.

In addition to a $6,000 cash value, courtesy of the Canada Council of the Arts, the honour for Scoles includes being feted at The Poet Summit, an event at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto on Oct. 26. He will also receive a two-week residency at The Banff Centre’s Leighton Artists’ Colony.

The Poetry Prize jury, including poets Sue Goyette, David McGimpsey and Anne Michaels, effusively praised Scoles’s poem: "With wit and memorable precision, The Trailer takes a setting which is not familiar to poetry, adopts its argot, houses it within a firm structural base and elegantly chronicles the pain inherent in the concept of ‘success.’ Each quatrain expresses the fullness of an individual life, and indicates not just the conscious suffering of the speaker, but the ways in which class-orientated discrimination denies the subjectivity of the individual."

Scoles’s prize-winning poem will be published in the October edition of enRoute Magazine.

The French-language winner is Louise Gagnon for Le fruit, le don. Her poem can be read at www.radio-canada.ca/litterature.

The four runners-up for the prize were Cassidy McFadzean (Regina), Pamela Porter (North Saanich, B.C.), Robin Richardson (Toronto) and Alison Smith (New Germany, N.S.) who will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Their poems can be read online at www.cbc.ca/canadawrites.

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