It’s a big year for PRISM international‘s poetry contest (Entries due January 23rd!). Founded in 2009, the poetry prize has always been the youngest and smallest of PRISM‘s literary prizes – but no more! This year the first-place prize for the poetry contest has been doubled from $1000 to $2000, in line with our non-fiction and short fiction prizes. We here at PRISM wondered what people might do with that extra $1000, and who better to ask than past winners? Here’s what a few of them had to say:
Jordan Mounteer, 2014 PRISM Poetry Prize Winner:
“If I had an extra $1000: It would go toward the piggybank reserved for my 30th birthday and the purchase of a donkey to accompany me while I traverse the Camino del Santiago in Spain. Or wine. Maybe wine. But like, really good wine. Which is, of course, the incentive and precursor for the best kinds of poetry ;)”
Jordan Mounteer is currently is planning his next adventure in Australia and beyond, and finishing up the final touches on a completed manuscript and (badly written) novel.
Deanna Young, 2013 PRISM Poetry Prize Winner:
“As a poet, I take $1000 very seriously. With that much extra cash, I would have paid someone to clean my house monthly for as long as the money lasted so that, when not at my day job, I could focus on the lofty matter of writing without being distracted by dust bunnies, a jaundiced toilet bowl, and worse.”
Deanna Young’s third book of poetry, House Dreams, was published by Brick Books in 2014.
Pamela Porter, 2011 PRISM Poetry Prize Winner:
“With an extra $1000, I’d go watch grizzlies try to snag salmon. Or I’d buy a fancy new saddle for my horse. Probably would settle on grizzlies. My horse already has a saddle.”
Pamela Porter’s work has won more than a dozen awards, including the 2005 Governor General’s Award for her verse novel, The Crazy Man.
Around the office we, too, couldn’t help but start dreaming about a few utterly reasonable indulgences:
Clara Kumagai, PRISM Executive Editor, Promotions:
“I moved to Vancouver (from Ireland) 18 months ago, and I’m still adjusting to the vastness of Canada. Now that the poetry grand prize has doubled to $2000, I’d spend the extra $1000 on a train trip from Vancouver to Toronto, so that I could experience traveling (almost) across a continent. Coincidentally, a return ticket costs about $1000 (for a normal seat, no bunk or food included). Or maybe I would spend it on another mighty enterprise that links Canada from coast to coast: Tim Horton’s doughnuts. They are only a dollar each! So after that I began translating costs into doughnuts (eg.$1 = 1 doughnut, 25c = 1 timbit). I could buy 2000 doughnuts! Or 8,000 timbits.”
Clara Kumagai’s short story “Waiting” appears in (the current) issue 37.4 of Room magazine.
Nicole Boyce, PRISM Prose Editor:
“Three words: Backstreet Boys Cruise. I love to write and think and talk about the 90s, so I’d use my thousand bucks to take a reflective, three-day sail with 2000 waterlogged super-fans. If you’re in the boy-band-know, you’ll note that I missed this cruise because I didn’t have the extra money back in October 2014. But I’m confident that with luck and a “90s cruise” Google alert, a similar opportunity will present itself in the future.”
Nicole Boyce writes non-fiction, fiction and comics. She’s currently working on her MFA at UBC.
Jen Macdonald, PRISM Executive Editor, Circulation:
“Buy Giller shortlisted books for all my friends, buy a computer or two for a school in Africa, pay down my student loans, rent a cabin in the woods so I can write undisturbed, rent my partner a cabin in the woods so I can write undisturbed, go on a tour of American authors’ houses, start a pizza pug delivery service…”
Jennifer Macdonald is working on her MFA at the University of British Columbia.
Rob Taylor, PRISM Poetry Editor:
“I can’t pick! A few options: 1) A machine like Margaret Atwood’s LongPen, but which is only used to forge cheques by Margaret Atwood. 2) Entries into the PRISM poetry contest for the next 35 years. It’s like walking into the casino and putting everything on black, but with a 140-issue consolation prize! 3) Nicole’s really gotten me thinking about a Backstreet Boys Cruise. The second one would be called “(Everybody) Backstreet’s Back” and everyone would dress as monsters. How could I pass that up? 4) Food and rent. Yes, those are important too, I suppose.”
Rob Taylor is the author of The Other Side of Ourselves (Cormorant Books, 2011).
Sierra Skye Gemma, PRISM Executive Editor, Finance:
I would buy 10 sessions (10 x $100 = $1000) with a Registered Massage Therapist to work on the nerve pain that runs down my right arm into the last two fingers on my right hand, making it painful to write. Hookers and blow.
Sierra Skye Gemma is a “serious journalist”, as evidenced by her writing above, and her ramblings on Twitter.
The deadline for PRISM’s poetry and fiction contests is January 23rd. There’s still time to enter! Glory, maids, doughnuts and Mummy Nick Carter await!