Blog

Our blog is a place for CV2 staff to post about upcoming events and news related to CV2.

2019 Lina Chartrand Award Winner

Apr 9, 2020

We are so pleased to announce that Francine Cunningham has been selected as the winner of the 2019 Lina Chartrand Award! You can find Francine's winning poem, "Blood Quantum" (as well as the painting she made in conjunction with it), here. We have also shared a brief interview here with Maureen Hynes, Liz Ukrainetz, and Kye Marshall, the three administrators of the award. Below you will find some more information about this award. Congratulations, Francine, from all of us at CV2!

A gifted playwright, dramaturge, screenwriter and poet, Lina Chartrand was also a passionate Toronto activist who worked tirelessly to combat poverty and racial and sexual discrimination, advocated for disabled people, fought to improve conditions of the workforce for women and for access to fair and affordable legal services for those who need them. Her dedication led her to combine her artistic talents with her political efforts and commit her art to those she wished to help.

After her death in 1994 from complications related to liver disease, Lina Chartrand’s friends and family established the Lina Chartrand Poetry Award to honour her memory and her commitment to working on behalf of the rights of others. Contemporary Verse 2 has administered the award since its inception in 1994.

The award was created to recognize an emerging poet as a tribute to the spirit of Lina Chartrand’s life and work. This opportunity exists to celebrate the achievements of woman-identifying writers. A writer is chosen for this award from woman-identifying people published in CV2 during the previous year, and receives $500 and a copy of we make the air: The collected poetry of Lina Chartrand.



COVID-19 Response

Mar 31, 2020

To help public health efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19, CV2 staff members are currently working remotely from our homes, but remain available for any questions or queries you might have about submissions, subscriptions, or registration for our 2-Day Poem Contest. Because of our current setup, there might be a slight delay in responding, but we are running as close to normal as possible in these circumstances, and will get back to you as soon as we can.

We know these are difficult, uncertain times, and one way we can contribute is to let you know that we are doing our best to keep our programming on track.

Fortunately, our 2-Day Poem Contest — Canada’s most popular, completely online poetry contest — is organized in a way that enables it to continue as planned, taking place this year over the weekend of April 24-26. If you are looking for something fun and poetic, social and distant, join other poets from across the globe in taking us up on our challenge of writing the best poem you can in 48 hours, using within that poem the 10 words we provide. With two entry options, this contest is both affordable and a good way to stretch a body’s poetic chops. For more information, check out our contest page here.

The submissions portal on our website remains open, and submissions are being reviewed. We are also currently running two submissions calls: the first for our Fall 2020 issue (Vol.43.2) — “Hope or Do We Have One: Poetry for Uncertain Times” with a deadline for submissions of May 15, 2020; and the second for our Winter 2021 issue (Vol.43.3) — “2S + QTBIPOC Bodies” with Guest Editor Joshua Whitehead and a deadline for submissions of September 15, 2020. Visit this link to read the full details for these submission calls, and to submit.

We’d like to let subscribers and contributors alike know that our Spring 2020 issue, Vol.42.4, featuring new work from poets including Leslie Joy Ahenda, Jaeyun Yoo, Marc Perez, Jennifer Zilm, Christine Wu, Isabel Yang, Catriona Wright, Yelibert Cruz Roo, Manahil Bandukwala, Meredith Quartermain, and others, is on its way back from the printer and will arrive in your mailboxes very soon.

Finally, like so many others, all of us at CV2 would like to sing the praises of all those working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic — every doctor, nurse, medical staff worker, cleaning staff member, grocery store and food supply worker, and so many others working to keep us all safe and healthy in the face of this unprecedented threat. To all of you, a very big and grateful thank you.

We hope you’re all taking care — maybe even writing a poem or two — and staying safe.



2019 Young Buck Poetry Prize Winner

Jan 23, 2020

We're thrilled to finally announce the winner and honourable mentions from our 2019 Young Buck Poetry Prize, as selected by our wonderful contest judge, Shazia Hafiz Ramji!

The Young Buck poetry prize is awarded to the author of the single best submitted poem, along with $1000 and publication in CV2. Four honourable mentions are also being awarded, each with a cash prize.

The winner of the 2019 Young Buck Poetry Prize of $1000 is:

Jake Byrne for "Parallel Volumes"

Honourable Mentions and $150 go to:

Alycia Pirmohamed for "Burial Plot"
Harpreet Kang for "Dad Gave Me Poetry"
Allie Duff for "Necessary Sins"
Natasha Ramoutar for "Atlas of a Lost World"

The prize-winning poems will be published in our Summer 2020 Issue. 

Here is what our judge, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, had to say about the winning entry and about her experience judging the contest: 

"Selecting the winners of CV2’s 2019 Young Buck Poetry Prize was an extremely difficult task. The poems that made the shortlist were thoroughly beautiful – each one was simultaneously grounded in the body and in the sprawl of the world: full of sticky rhythms and torqued with heart. It was not easy to choose a winner. The winning poem, "Parallel Volumes" by Jake Byrne, changed the way I breathed. It spoke its secrets, hurts, and beauty the way a friend might. It is a disarming poem that lives in the tension between fragments of poetry and the unifying urge of narrative. It is a poem like a hurricane, gathering everything around it, from Dionne Brand to therapy, to write the "I" in its multiplicity. "Parallel Volumes" is a defiant, ambitious poem that brims with generosity."

Thank you so much to Shazia, and to everyone who submitted their work! Until next time!