2-Day Poem Contest Winners!

☀️ We’re thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s CV2 2-Day Poem Contest, as selected by our judge (and last year’s winner) Alexander Hollenberg; our editors; our contest captain Yelani Peiris’s mom; and you! ☀️

These poets crafted some stunning poems over the course of 48 hours, using a dastardly ten-word list, and you’ll get to read all of them in our fall 2024 issue!

Read on to hear what judge Alexander Hollenberg had to say about the first, second, and third place winners, and be sure to join us next spring for the 2024 2-Day Poem Contest! ☀️

First Place: “After We Marry and Head West” by Hollie Adams

Second Place: “The Legacy Dam” by Jenna Butler

Third Place: “This Counterfeit Year” by Medrie Purdham

Editor’s Choice: “Pickle Jar Love Poem” by Sarah Wishloff

Editor’s Mom’s Choice: “Last Father’s Day” by Carmen Wall

People’s Choice: “Logical Reasoning” by Jade Y. Liu


“After We Marry And Head West”

“The pace of this poem is striking. It gallops. And then it lassos us. The concision of its lines—each like a hard, powerful stride in a hard, powerful life—demonstrates a remarkable, sophisticated attention to form and function. Brilliantly, the poet has crafted a Western that is both comfortable in its own pin-prick flowered clothes but also adds something new to the genre without feeling pressure to wholly subvert it. Every word, every phrase here is deliberate and sings with the possibilities of meaning: “watch me /pioneer this excuse for a broom / across the floor,” or “axes and rifles that un-lady / my arms.” This language does what poetry at its best is supposed to do: it makes the world a bit unfamiliar, makes us look again, makes us grin at the life- affirming possibilities of art. Every line of this poem makes me want to keep reading, and when I get to the end—the gut-punch, just-leave-the-bottle-end—all I want to do is read it again.”


“the legacy dam”

“This poem is three things at once: an intricate, studied portrait of an ecosystem; a despairing testimony to human arrogance; and, an inspiring exemplar of human craft. Read this poem out loud. You’ll think you’re hearing magic in the way its sounds echo, reverberate, repeat, but I promise you it’s not magic. It’s a poet who knows their medium well and who knows all the things language can do: “the rich riverine broth / spadderdock’s bright lanterns / held aloft across the bog.” Lines like these make me want to pack up, tramp out, and sit on the banks of a river, just to listen. Lines like these possess the quality of quiet, thoughtful attention that we might look for in all our poetry.”


“This Counterfeit Year”

“In a year that’s brought us the plagiarism-machines of AI, this poem laments the snowballing losses of authenticity in even the most private spaces. The speaker implores her child not to speak in memes, she only “pretends” to be a wife, and as she remembers an incident from her past, she reminds herself, “It must have happened,” which suggests maybe it didn’t. The shrewd complexity of this poem is that it doesn’t simply find solace in the real; rather, it questions the slow creep of the counterfeit into all aspects of the speaker’s life—even those that feel the most real, concrete. For me, whatever solace there is exists in the poet’s careful, creative patterning of language and line: “If there’s a soundtrack to this life, please let it be done / on instruments people breathe into.” I haven’t heard a more eloquent plea for the humanity of art in a long time.”

– Alexander Hollenberg, Contest Judge

People’s Choice – 2024 2-Day Poem Contest!

Before we can announce the winners of this year’s 2-Day Poem Contest, we need your help determining who will win People’s Choice! Here you can read all five poems that are finalists for the award. Simply click on the links to view the poems, and vote for your favourite! Voting will remain open until 11:59pm CT on Friday June 14th and all winners will be announced on Wednesday, June 19th.

“18 Down. 2024, in Chinese zodiac” by R. Lewis

“BODY OF THE DAY” by Tea Gerbeza

“A Prairie Girl Dreams a Slice” by Cristalle Smith

“body plans at the nature museum” by Tazi Rodrigues

“Logical Reasoning” by Jade Y. Liu


Spring 2024 Issue Launch

So pleased to share the contributors who will be reading at our spring issue Zoom launch Wednesday, May 1st!

Join us at 5pm PDT / 7pm CDT / 8pm EDT for readings by Lilyanne Kane, Salma Hussain, Trevor Graumann, Ana Rodriguez Machado, Mazzy Sleep, Henry Heavyshield, and Sasha Pickering!

We prioritize making our launches as accessible as possible. Access measures in place for this launch will include live ASL interpretation, closed captions, and access texts. If you’d like to attend and have access needs we can accommodate, please let us know!

The launch will be free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Click here to register.

Mini 2-Day Contest Winner (Part 3!!)

We are thrilled to announce the winner of the latest Mini 2-Day Poem Contest!

Jade Liu is the winner with her poem “What We Bear,” written using the words “Pith,” “Ensorcelled,” and “Peristeronic.” You can read the poem below!

Congrats to Jade and thank you to everyone who participated! We hope you had fun, and that you feel proud of the poems you wrote using some of our favourite words from previous 2-Day Contests.

If you missed the game, don’t fret! The 2-Day Poem Contest is taking place April 20-21. Check out #2DayContest2024 to follow along!



The morning I learn papaya is a natural abortive
I take the one marinating on my kitchen counter

for a walk. We slip through the veil of resuscitating trees,
agile past nuclear families that crowd for cheek-to-cheek photos

around bushes of newly budded blooms. My papaya and I
search for our home among the grass, which at this point

is more peristeronic fertilizer than green, remnants
of lives before and before. On them, I sit. Dig my spoon

into the tender body of my friend, scrape to the pith,
pour pink flesh into my mouth. As voices chatter over my head

I imagine the mouthful falling inside me. I imagine the enzymes
tingling, doing some thing of science that has ensorcelled and made lunatics

of men for centuries. It is sweet.
And when I finish the fruit,

my lips and fingers sticky with juice,
I drop two pearl-black seeds into dirt

not warm, not rich enough to sustain their hope.
In this earth, I bury them anyway.

Mini 2-Day Contest Winner! (Part 2)

We are thrilled to announce the winner of the latest Mini 2-Day Poem Contest!

Luke Nguyen is our winner, for “I Pig, Therefore I Ham?,” written using the words “ham,” “putative,” and “scrubby.” You can read the poem below!

Congrats to Luke and thank you to everyone who participated! We hope you had fun, and that you feel proud of the poems you wrote using some of our favourite words from previous 2-Day Contests.

If you missed the game, don’t fret! The final practice round is taking place Saturday, April 6th, and the real fun begins April 19-21, with the 2-Day Poem Contest. There’s still time to register right here!


I Pig, Therefore I Ham?

Silent ham ponders,
“Scrubby man’s putative meal?
Am I more than Spam?”

Mini 2-Day Contest Winner!

We are thrilled to announce the winner of the Mini 2-Day Poem Contest that we played on Saturday!

Laura Hebert is our winner, for “the prospect of healing,” written using the words “furuncle,” “hinky,” and “foundling.” You can read Laura’s poem below.

Congrats to Laura and thank you to everyone who participated! We hope you had fun, and that you feel proud of the poems you wrote using some of our favourite words from previous 2-Day Contests.

And if you missed the game, don’t fret! The next practice round is taking place this Saturday, March 16 from 12-6, and the real fun begins April 19-21, with the 2-Day Poem Contest itself. There’s still time to register right here!


the prospect of healing

one evening in February he breaks my heart.

in a third session over Zoom, she simplifies it
to attachment. I am learning that my gut is hinky

and my memory askew. this circling, a daily excoriation
of my own skin, making larger this
ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤ the abscess, the furuncle
the ragged scar.

this afternoon I try to see myself as a foundling:
though aphantasic and faint, imagine a homecoming

something gentle                frail in my open hands.

tonight I will sleep alone again. I will listen for coyotes
and the quick softness of my own breath. I will dream
of chamomile and a coming spring.

Register Now For The 2-Day Poem Contest!

Registration for the 2024 CV2 2-Day Poem Contest is now open!

This annual contest challenges you to write an original poem in 48 hours — with only one catch. The final poem must include ten words that we provide. These words are released at midnight CDT on Friday, April 19th, 2024 (when Friday becomes Saturday), leaving you 48 hours to use each of them at least once in an original poetry composition. Prizes include cash, publication, and a copy of the issue containing the winners, not to mention a whole weekend of wordy entertainment.

Click here to sign up for the contest and start preparing for 48 hours of fun! This batch of words is promising to be the wildest yet!

2 Days. 10 words. 1 poem. Get on it!

Foster Poetry Prize Winners!

Announcing the Winners of the 2023 Foster Poetry Prize!

Huge congratulations to Sasha Pickering, whose poem “Fundament” was selected by judge Emily Riddle as the Grand Prize winner! Sasha will receive $1000 in prize money, and her poem will appear in the upcoming spring 2024 issue of CV2!

Big congratulations, also, to Cicely Grace, Henry Heavyshield, and Gwen Aube, winners of the second place, third place, and honourable mention prizes, respectively. Cicely, Henry, and Gwen will each receive cash prizes as well, and their poems will also appear in the spring issue!

Read on to hear what Emily had to say about the judging process and the winning poems –

“While ruminating on the shortlist for the Foster Poetry Prize, I regained a faith in the ability of poetry to balm wounds, challenge our current world order, and chronicle the strange/wonderful timeline we inhabit. I feel inspired to return to my own poetry practice.

The First Place Winner, Sasha Pickering’s “Fundament”, had so many gut punching lines that stuck with beyond reading through this list of poems. This poem is propulsive, skilled, and witty. This poem reminded me of the delicious tension of being both sovereign in our individualities and wholly bled into one another. I will think about the ending line “Don’t expect too much of me, you say, to which I reply I only expect the world” for a long time.

Cicely Williams, the second place winner, immediately had my attention with their brilliant prose poem “Buying a Pregnancy Test in October or Schrodinger’s Fetus.” As someone who grew up in a hair salon, I love the contrast between the everyday mission of adornment contrasted with the contemplation of a more permanent decision. The writer asks us to consider whether the poem itself cares. The poem itself is a character in this story. I would like to keep reading and I will think about what my poems themselves think.”

The third-place winner, Henry Heavyshield, wrote a prairie epic in a poem, which is not an easy task. I found myself entranced by the language and rhythm in “winter counting, an honour song for prairie allies.” The poet takes us on a journey through familiar prairies scenes and situations, with masterful use of language, including a bit of Blackfoot.

I chose “raised by wolves” by Gwen Aube as the honorable mention poem. At first, I was completely enamored that I was reading a poem that mentioned Neopets and Inuyasha. After a full read through, I was enamored by this poet’s ability to host us within this world of nostalgia and honesty.

I am so glad I was able to spend some time with each of these poems. I look forward to seeing these poets flourish beyond this contest, as the world is giving us much to write to/for currently. It was a pleasure to be the 2023 Foster Poetry Prize Judge.”

– Emily Riddle

CV2 Holiday Wine Raffle Winners!

We’re thrilled to announce the lucky winners of the CV2 Holiday Wine Raffle!

🥇 Grand Prize (15 Bottles): Kathy Block
🥈 Second Prize (10 Bottles): Lindsay Thomas
🥉 Third Prize (5 Bottles): Lindsey Childs

A huge congratulations to our winners! We hope you enjoy your delightful wine haul.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the raffle. Your generosity helps us continue supporting authors, workshops, and more. Stay tuned for more exciting events and chances to engage with the CV2 community.

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