CBC Poetry Prize for “Spell World Backwards”

I am thrilled and very grateful to have won the 2022 CBC Poetry Prize for “Spell World Backwards,” a collection of poems about my mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s. I enter the contest almost every year as a way to push myself to do my best work, but I never thought this would happen. Thank you to everyone who has reached out and told me how they personally connected with the poems. This win means a lot to me and my family and I know my mom would so proud.


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  1. Hello Bren,
    Congratulations! I too went through my Mother’s journey with Alzheimers. I look forward to picking up your new book. Looking to connect with my mother when she was not speaking much anymore at all, I once asked her what was she thinking about, at the kitchen table. She had been looking about the room with her eyes. “Freedom” she said softly. I was blown away and it restored my faith that my Mom was still the same person inside. Ever accepting of what life threw at her, she had not lost her spark. She had alway been someone desiring to get up and do, go out and see things, go for a walk , meet new people. Bless you and your Mother, cherish your time together. And thank you for sharing your poetry.

    • Hi Julia,

      Thanks so much for your note and for sharing your story. Freedom. Wow. Yes, it is important to remember that they are still the same person inside. It’s tough to find ways to connect near the end. It sounds like your mom was an amazing person. Thanks for reaching out.


  2. Hello Ms. Simmers,

    Congratulations on the CBC Poetry Prize for Spell World Backwards! Is it for sale anywhere yet? I’m having trouble finding it.


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