Black Lawrence Press
December 20, 2018

2018 St. Lawrence Book Award Winner

 

We are so pleased to announce that Jody Chan has won the 2018 St. Lawrence Book Award with their poetry collection sick love. Congratulations, Jody!

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the 2018 St. Lawrence Book Award and send further congratulations to the finalists and semi-finalists.


 

Jody Chan is a writer, organizer, Taiko drummer, and therapist-in-training based in Toronto. They are the poetry editor for Hematopoeisis, a 2017 VONA alum, a member of the Winter Tangerine Workshops Team, and the 2018 winner of the Third Coast Poetry Contest. Their first chapbook is published with Damaged Goods Press. Their work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and is published in BOAAT, Looseleaf Magazine, Nat. Brut, The Shade Journal, and elsewhere. They can be found online at www.jodychan.com and offline in bookstores or dog parks.

 

 

 

 


 

Two Poems from sick love

 

unpacking
                — after Warsan Shire

look, it can be like the rape never happened.
scrub the carpet to bone, strip the drywall down —
your skin is still the blankest page
beneath the bloodstreak, crater of minced glass.
like an empty bottle whose first flaw is thirst
your body most valuable for the way it inherits silence.
haven’t you learned by now that trust is just an omen?
not all ghosts are dead. apologize to your butcher
for the mess of slaughter. what did you expect, love?
there was no screaming, only the sound of silence
at 120th & amsterdam, night smothered in simon & garfunkel.
put the wonder away. you had your chance to turn back.

put the wonder away. you had your chance to turn back
at 120th & amsterdam. night, smothered in simon & garfunkel.
there was no screaming, only the sound of silence
for the mess of slaughter. what did you expect, love?
not all ghosts are dead. apologize to your butcher,
haven’t you learned by now that trust is just an omen?
your body most valuable for the way it inherits silence
like an empty bottle whose first flaw is thirst.
beneath the bloodstreak, crater of minced glass,
your skin is still the blankest page.
scrub the carpet to bone, strip the drywall down —
look, it can be like the rape never happened.

 

First published in BOAAT

 

 

letter for my future daughters
                — after Rachel McKibbens

there was a before / & an after / before the first ravage / after the last man / I trusted / I thrashed / to the surface / on my own / before your breath / muddied the air / there was a time for burning / everything / prisons / courtrooms / unwanted diagnosis / gold towers / erected on graveyards / & then / there was a time for building / a body / from my body / there were the times I was told / I wish you weren’t born / by someone who loved me / & meant it / there were the times I agreed / & there was the time I authored you / a mouth / a fist / a name / I am tired of defining myself as not / now I am / a holy that grows / every time our brains beat back / their inherited burdens / you too will ache / like a cavity / that cannot be filled / someone will leave / a bootprint / in your heart / but I will drag your skin open / as you crawl back to yourself / I remake me / in your image / you who began as my flesh / & are now my blood’s king / Daughter / you teach me to be borderless / Daughter / everything continues / Daughter / I have kept myself alive / & now there is a reason / Daughter / you mother / a new song from my tired throat / Daughter / we are unroyal / we flinch / cut / flee / brim / weep ourselves hoarse / & still / we are whole / we are enough / we have always been enough

 

First published in Yes Poetry