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Power poets

Annual Gregory Power Poetry Prize awarded to Andreae Callanan

Student Life

By Janet Harron

Local writer Andreae Callanan is this year’s winner of the Gregory J. Power Poetry Award.

Ms. Callanan’s poem Revival won first prize in the annual competition honouring Memorial’s poets. She was presented with a cheque for $300 by Julia Power, grand-daughter of the award’s namesake, at a ceremony on Thursday, April 6. Gregory J. Power Jr. was also present at the ceremony.

‘no pickles left in the shops at all’ — From Revival by Andreae Callanan

Matthew Hollett won second prize, valued at $200, for Berrypickers in Bauline and Katie Vautour took third, valued at $100 for Patient. Both Mr. Howlett and Ms. Vautour are working towards diplomas in creative writing. Honourable mentions were awarded to MA students Shannon Webb-Campbell for The Decolonization of My Heart and Megan Loch for Depart 7 am Tuesday. Undergraduate English student Alexandra Duff received honourable mention for It Follows.

1/ Prof. Mary Dalton

Mary Dalton reads from Bogwood.

Photo: Janet Harron

2/ Matthew Hollett

Matthew Hollett reads from the Jeroboam winner, Merchant Vessel.

Photo: Janet Harron

3/ Megan Loch

Megan Loch reads from her poem 7 am Tuesday.

Photo: Janet Harron

4/ Shannon Webb-Campbell

Shannon Webb-Campbell reads from The Decolonization of My Heart.

Photo: Janet Harron

5/ Katie Vautour

Katie Vautour reads her poem Patient.


6/ Andreae Callanan

Winner Andreae Callanan reads from Revival.

Photo: Janet Harron

7/ Power Poetry Award winners

From left are Gregory J. Power Jr., Katie Vautour, Matthew Hollett, Andreae Callanan, Alexandra Duff, Shannon Webb-Campbell, Megan Loch and Julia Power.

Photo: Janet Harron

‘Pitch perfect and sparkling’

The competition is open to all Memorial undergraduates and graduate students. Judges Drs. Joel Deshaye and Susan Ingersoll received 55 poems from 32 entrants. Rules allow for each entrant to submit up to two poems.

“Andreae Callanan’s poem Revival stood out because it is a deft historical tale of pickles, which is not a typical subject of a poem and which made the history snappy,” said Dr. Deshaye. “The poem has playful changes of tone—the speaker aghast at the prospect of the end of national pickle production (‘no pickles left in the shops at all’), and then proudly resourceful as the locals execute a plan to restore the supply by themselves, each local business offering ‘a signature slant, / each community a variation, an accent.’ It’s a pitch-perfect, sparkling, focused commentary on the potential for local self-sufficiency in an era of globalization.”

Literary achievements

Ms. Callanan plans to begin her MA with a creative focus in the spring semester. She is currently enrolled in a graduate level poetry course.

At the ceremony, Professor Mary Dalton read from Gregory’s Power’s Bogwood, which has been called one of the province’s best literary achievements. Professor Dalton also awarded the Jeroboam Poetry Prize to Mr. Hollett for Merchant Vessel. The award was established by the founding members of the student publishing house Jeroboam to honour a poem with a subject unique to Newfoundland and Labrador.

About Gregory J. Power

Gregory J. Power was born in Dunville, N.L., in 1909 and first achieved recognition as an athlete. In 1930 he represented Newfoundland at the first British Empire Games. He was a member of the House of Assembly for Placentia-St. Mary’s from 1951-59, serving as both minister of Finance and minister of Highways in those years.

The Gregory J. Power Poetry Prize recognizes Mr. Power’s literary gifts; he twice won the O’Leary Newfoundland Poetry Awards and published two important books: Gems of Newfoundland Poetry (1967) and The Power of the Pen (1989).

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