$20 | Published June 2023.
4.875" x 8", 24pp.
“with feathers” is an accomplished and smartly realized suite of prose poems. While the sequence takes meditations on diverse birds as its centering focus, we were deeply impressed with the sometimes playful and sometimes stirring turns towards history and memory evident in each piece. “Mallard,” for instance, deftly moves from a study of drakes and hens into a consideration of Viktor Frankl and the perilousness of life. We also were captivated by the poet’s urgent and often magical observations throughout: hope, as an origami crane, that “turns stasis into flight” or a seagull “slowly eating stars.” Such enthralling work, we agreed, was highly deserving of the JLPPA.
“In Case We are Being Left Behind” was our much-admired runner-up. The opening poem in the collection (“The Fire is Watching Us, Too”) and the final poem (“Little Bones”) both astonished us with their gorgeous, pressurized language. “Little Bones” was especially compelling as it moves the reader into a landscape but also into a rich meta-landscape of language. So we wanted to acknowledge here that this is a truly captivating manuscript.
—2022 JLPPA Juror, Jake Kennedy
Hand-set in Monotype Deepdene. Printed on Crane Lettra with a wrapper of Fabriano Tiziano. The edition of 75 copies was set, proofed, printed & bound by students of Okanagan College’s Diploma in Writing & Publishing.
The OC crew this year included: Michelle Alcantara, Madison Benoit, Sims Buckingham, Iris Cameron, Taylor Dew-Jones, Laurent Lemay, Stephen Lowry, Malena Mosquera, Samantha Penner McDermott, Francis Ramis, Lynda Savoy, Alize Toews, Julia Turner Lansall, Callie Wasylik, Eden Wolff , & Jason Dewinetz.
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Cynthia Woodman Kerkham has published a book Good Holding Ground (Palimpsest Press, 2011) and a passel of poems in various literary magazines. She’s won the Malahat Review’s Open Season Award, the Federation of BC Writers award, received several contest Honourable Mentions, and placed as a finalist in the CBC Poetry Prize. She lives and talks to birds in Victoria, BC.