Nominations are open for the 2022 Aurora Awards. My poem, “My Pillow Eats Screams” is eligible. You can read it below, and help me get on the ballot! I’ve also written a blog post about the inspiration and meaning for “My Pillow Eats Screams”.

What are the Aurora Awards?

The Aurora Awards are fan-voted awards for Canadian speculative fiction. Any Canadian can take part. I have been on the final ballot several times in various categories, and one for poetry in 2018.

How can you help?

The awards process has two steps: Nominations to get on the ballot, and voting to pick the winner. Nominations are now being accepted and close March 26th, 2022.

To nominate works:

  1. Go to the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA) website and become a member. There is a $10 fee to join, but CSFFA members get a voter’s package of the works that make it on the ballot. That’s novels, collections, stories, and more.
  2. Once signed up, you can access the list of works eligible to be nominated to see what can be nominated. (You must be logged into the CSFFA site to see this page)
  3. Complete the form to nominate works (You must be logged into the CSFFA site to see this page)

The five works with the most nominations make it onto the final ballot. My work is in the Poetry Category and titled “My Pillow Eats Screams.”

My Pillow Eats Screams

My pillow eats screams, engorged on these tears
Trapping confessions in celestial down

For six nights, six again, skies sang with steel
Trembled to warfare’s thunder
Titans of the clouds, leviathans of the air

Mornings brought
Purple-tinged blood
Stained roadways, rooftops.
Muddied ground drank greedily,
Sprouted mint and thistle,
Roses and cinnamon snaked
Over row house fences.

Through yards and parking lots,
cemeteries and playgrounds
I first walked then raced to gather—feathers
Colours beyond count
Colours that stuck some competitors mad or blind
I dodged, delivered blows
Filled a pocketful of feathered remnants
From the inner din and outer dark

Our battles brutal
Vicious in intensity,
Spread like fork lightning
Spilled blood to feed the mites and ticks and flies
Dawn’s calm gloom shattered by shattering bone
Gasping, gasping
Final sounds to leave a mortal throat

My treasure, safe beneath my head
Eyes swollen on recounting horrors inflicted, horrors endured
A father’s words and a mother’s hands
Smiling denials in tomorrow’s light
Silence the only armour

Replies, whispered in the small hours, of special death
Flawed, finite bodies jettisoned
An ascension, up and out and above
To touch the sky and rise above the inner din and outer dark
To the light that eradicates all

For six nights I wailed my well-practiced denials
Rationalizations like finely honed battle steel

For six more nights, I stalked, drenched in mortal blood
Until wings emerged from where they hid

We are as that which below has shaped us
We are as that which above calls us to be
I am, now, of everything and everyone
To—at last—scream in the heavens

(“My Pillow Eats Screams” was published Polar Starlight, Issue #4)

I’ve also posted about the origins and inspiration for this poem on my blog.