Oak Bay poet shortlisted for Cedric Literary Award

Susan Braley is among 14 writers across the province shortlisted for the inaugural 2015 Cedric Literary Awards

Oak Bay poet Susan Braley

An Oak Bay poet is among 14 writers across the province shortlisted for the inaugural 2015 Cedric Literary Awards.

Susan Braley us up for a poetry award in the Cedric Literary Awards, limited to full-time B.C. residents aged 50 years and beyond.

When Braley moved west to Oak Bay in 2005 it was a time of retirement, which became time to get back to learning.

The career teacher slipped deeper into her love of creative writing, something that started as a youngster in grade school.

“As I grew older I spent more time focussing on my studies. I spent more time writing academic papers,” Braley explained. She enjoyed that thoroughly, but as a teacher spent some of each summer holiday penning short stories and poems. Upon retirement and the move to B.C. it was time to devote more time to that love of writing.

Braley quickly discovered “teaching literature is not the same as writing it,” she said.

Fortunately the network of writers on Vancouver Island is extensive for both lessons and readings, which also provide opportunities for information gathering.

She found herself in classes and workshops returning to the role of learner rather than a teacher. With a novel complete, she found herself branching out creatively.

“I went to some poetry readings and that’s what inspired me, Braley said. “It’s a very distilled art. There’s an energy and intensity in every line,” she said, adding the spaces between are also critical in delivering the deliberately indirect messages.

“I’m spending most of my time writing poetry now.”

Her nominated work was inspired by words of British sculptor Barbara Hepworth: “My left hand is my thinking hand. The right is only a motor hand. This holds the hammer. The left hand, the thinking hand, must be relaxed, sensitive. The rhythms of thought pass through the fingers and grip of this hand into the stone.

“It is also a listening hand. It listens for basic weaknesses of flaws in the stone; for the possibility or imminence of fractures.”

Braley’s words and structure in “Imminence of fracture” reflect much of her recent work, acknowledgement of the fragility of the human condition balanced with the joy and appreciation for what we have – love, beauty and compassion.

Designed for participants who have never had any of their work published before, “the Cedric Literary Awards were created to recognize and encourage the creative talents in fiction and poetry of unpublished authors who are better than 50,” said Dr. Peter Dale, chairman and founder of the awards.

A prize of $3,000 is awarded in each category after adjudication by a panel of people who are well known and respected in the fields of writing and publishing.

“It’s very affirming for writers who work quietly in their rooms day after day and feel invisible. It’s satisfying to have your work read and shared by the community,” Braley said.

“With this kind of affirmation I would be galvanized to write another book.”

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

REVIEW: A Doll’s House: Part 2 at the Belfry revisits fractured relationships

Sheila Martindale finds the characters in this imagined sequel engaging and accessible

Beloved musical The King and I coming to Victoria

Royal Theatre plays host to musical that was a smash hit on Broadway

Victoria Royals on a roll heading into WHL season opening weekend

Team looks to gain revenge on Prince George after pre-season loss to Cougars

Indian and Western music combine at the Mary Winspear

Harry Manx and Emily Carr String Quartet play Sept. 23

Trio of high-powered explorers unveiled for new NatGeo Live season

Royal and McPherson Theatres Society bringing next wave of presenters to town

Musicians take note at Victoria music industry conference

Emerging artists and industry professionals come together at Rifflandia Gathering

‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Mrs. Maisel’ triumph at Emmys

In a ceremony that started out congratulating TV academy voters for the most historically diverse field of nominees yet, the early awards all went solely to whites.

VIDEO: Young B.C. musician sings with the Foo Fighters

Stranger Than Fiction’s Madi Duncan from Port Alberni was invited up on stage at the Vancouver show

Victoria’s Ethiopian community welcomes in the year 2011

Area residents celebrate Ethiopian New Year on Sept. 12, based on the Julian calendar

Mansbridge: iconic Canadian newsman coming to Sidney

Former host of CBC’s The National part of Mary Winspear Centre speaker series

Could #MeToo lead to equal pay for actresses?

Salma Hyeck says these once-taboo topics are the talk of the town, leading to change both on- and off-screen

Ken Lavigne sings your favourites (and his) on Islands concert tour

Popular tenor performing seven concerts at six venues over six days

Most Read