Zoe Imani Sharpe named a Bronwen Wallace Award finalist for poetry
We are thrilled to share the news that recent CW MFA graduate Zoe Imani Sharpe is one of three poetry finalists for the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s 2020 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers.
This award has a great track record of recognizing emerging talent nationally, and no fewer than eight of our program alumni have been selected as finalists or winners of the prize in its history. This year all six finalists in poetry and short fiction will receive $2,500. One $10,000 prize will be awarded in each genre at a special digital ceremony on October 21st.
Of Sharpe’s poetry selection the jury—composed of Klara du Plessis, Benjamin Hertwig, and Canisia Lubrin—said:
In this work the page is spare, yet a powerful voice emerges in language that is assured, mellifluous, and poetically unique. Sharpe engenders a subtle silence that resists over-narration and commodification. Here is an “ironing out” of specific histories and ways of being that force a re-negotiation with the present. In a Canadian poetic context where certain histories are still overlooked, this work is urgent and entirely its own.
Bronwen Wallace was a poet, short story writer, and mentor to many young authors as a creative writing instructor at Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College in Kingston. This prize was established in her honour in 1994 by a group of friends and colleagues. Wallace's first book, Marrying into the Family, was published when she was 35 and she felt that writers should have more opportunities for recognition early in their careers. And so this annual award is given to writers below the age of 35 who have published poetry or prose in literary magazines or anthologies, but have not yet been published in book form.