Ontario-born, Texas-based poet Mark Wagenaar has been named winner of this year’s CBC Poetry Prize for his piece, “String Theory.”
Writers Shane Book, Karen Solie, and Fred Wah judged the award, saying in a press release:
“String Theory” lifts the poetic sentence into a three-dimensional collage of nostalgia and reflection, a composition of intriguing images full of surprise and acuity. The natural economy of its language feels expansive, and a tension develops in the lines’ momentum, a controlled energy. Precisely calibrated accelerations made of equal parts song and knowledge propel this poem “out of the sun.”
Wagenaar was awarded $6,000 along with publication in Air Canada’s enRoute magazine and a 10-day writing residency at the Banff Centre. The win is well-timed, with Wagenaar’s sophomore title, The Body Distances, releasing next spring with University of Massachusetts Press, which awarded the collection its 2015 Juniper Prize for Poetry. Wagenaar’s first collection, 2012’s Voodoo Inverso, won the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry.