|Barbara Smith, Judge of the 2011 Eyewear Poetry Prize|
Janet Vickers was born in Greenford, Middlesex, in 1949. She left England for Canada with her parents and siblings in 1965, settling first near Montreal, then Toronto, Abbotsford, and finally, Gabriola Island, British Columbia. She is publisher of Lipstick Press – a micro press that prints poetry chapbooks. Her chapbook You Were There (the title poem won the poetry category of the 3rd Annual Vancouver International Writers’ Festival) was published in 2006, and Arcana was published in 2008. Other poems have appeared in sub-Terrain, Grain, Quills, The Antigonish Review, anthologies such as Down in the Valley (Ekstasis), Corporate Watch's This Poem is Sponsored by ... – and online at Nthposition.
She is currently the BC/Yukon Rep for The League of Canadian Poets. She has asked that her £6 prize be donated to Oxfam, so I will see that the prize goes in on Monday, July 4th. Although I had no part in this decision - it was all up to Smith - I am glad to see a Canadian winner announced on Canada Day - pure felicity.
The Number Six
In numerology the number six represents family, responsibility,
the good son, a worried teacher, the burden of sleepless nights
looking for the right phrase— tension blossoming
into a brass door knob or an egg cup.
Six is almost sex but not quite
except for the sixth card of the Tarot
which is the Lovers, the marriage
of interlocking puzzles.
At the age of six a child feels her words
call out to the road she is not permitted
to cross by herself. Put two sixes on their side
together, loops touching, tails farthest apart
and what you have is eye-wear
you can see through.
prize-winning poem by Janet Vickers
|Janet Vickers, winner of the 2011 Eyewear Poetry Prize|