The Canadian Literature Centre 2022 Poetry Prize Winner is Meghan Eaker
As a contest partner, the Edmonton Poetry Festival is thrilled to announce Meghan Eaker as the winner of the Canadian Literature Centre 2022 Poetry Prize.
Meghan Eaker (she/her) is an amiskwaciywâskahikan-based poet, registered nurse, and beading artist of mixed european and nehiyaw ancestry and is a member of the Woodland Cree First Nation in treaty 8 territory. She is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Alberta studying storysharing as a practice towards miyo pimatisiwin (a good life).
Read Meghan Eaker’s winning poem below.
nitohtamok êkwa wiya manâpekiswek
on his deathbed
nimosompan asked me
do you understand?
i’m not sure, i replied
but i have been listening
when i will have need of these teachings
i know the memory of your voice
will come to me
then, i will understand
when the teachings i was not yet ready
to follow become inscribed
in my bones by the hand
then, i will know
listen to my magpie voice
can you hear the layered harmonies?
when i speak
i do not speak alone
my voice is a chorus of many generations
i cannot take credit
for this poetry alone
it is not mine
it belongs to all the echoing
voices past, present, and future
that sing it into being
nitohtamok êkwa wiya manâpekiswek – listen, then speak with care
nimosompan – my late grandfather/great-uncle