Announcing the Winner of the 2023 Fall Writing Contest

Henry Heavyshield. Photo courtesy of the author.

TCR is pleased to announce the winner and honourable mentions of our 2023 Fall Writing Contest, I have to say what I want to hear, as selected by guest judge River Halen. The winning selection of poetry is by writer Henry Heavyshield.

Here’s what our judge had to say about the winning submission:

“There is a lot to love about these poems by Henry Heavyshield, including their arresting images, tone, emotional realness, values, and sense of line and sound. I chose them especially because of the kind of solace they generate—alive, decolonial, and always in motion, never complacent.”

About the winner:

Henry Heavyshield (he/him) is a Blackfoot reader and writer from Kainai (Blood Tribe First Nation) in Treaty #7 territory. His work has previously appeared in Joyland, C Magazine, Kimiwan-Zine, Ex-Puritan, EVENT and Riddle Fence. He would like to thank the continued generosity and support of his family and community. nitsíniiyi’taki (thank-you).

TCR would like to extend additional congratulations to the shortlisted writers:

Irum Choroguay (Markham, ON)

Heather MacLeod (Kamloops, BC)

seeley quest (Halifax, NS)

The work will be published in the forthcoming Issue 4.2 (Spring 2024). Read an excerpt of the winning entry below.

a song for turnip hunting

tonight i dream
i am the great turnip in the sky.
beside your partner,
morning star,
i watch you
wave your isstawaatanako’p (digging stick) 
against the sun,
against the moon,
& finally
towards me.

dig me slowly & see.
break the topsoil
& enter through grassroots. 
the land hides me. the land 
protects me. peel back her sun- 
bleached scalp rustling
in the wind. she is my
home & she is
the colour of muddy wine.

scrape the clay from my ribs 
& brush the sand
from my hips. feel the dirt 
beneath your charcoal 
fingernails, slivers
of ochre from my 
endless granular vault.

electricity & tremors 
through your arms, near 
enough to measure my pulse.

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