2019 National Broadsheet Contest Winner: Eleonore Schönmaier

Congratulations to the winner of the League’s 3rd annual National Broadsheet Contest, Eleonore Schönmaier! Eleonore’s winning poem, “it didn’t happen here” was selected by our judge D.A. Lockhart for its “strong images, and captivating lyric voice.”

Here’s a first look at “it didn’t happen here,” designed for a broadsheet by Briar Craig:


There is a lot to admire about this piece. Physically on the page and in the words itself it carries and illustrates its central image. The reader is left haunted by this poem. It’s nature speaks to the sort of experiential empathy that would do much to our world. In this way it is
a piece that I believe needs to be shared. Its form on the page, its strong images, and captivating lyric voice will be well suited to the broadsheet format. – D.A. Lockhart


In addition to being crafted into the above artisan broadsheet by Briar Craig, “it didn’t happen here” will be published in the League’s 2019 Poem in Your Pocket booklet.

We spoke with Eleonore about her writing and reading practices and also her upcoming projects. Read the interview here.


About Eleonore Schönmaier

Eleonore Schönmaier‘s most recent poetry book is Dust Blown Side of the Journey from McGill-Queen’s University Press. Her other collections are the critically acclaimed Wavelengths of Your Song (2013) and Treading Fast Rivers (1999). Her poetry has won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize, the Earle Birney Prize, and is widely anthologized including publication in Best Canadian Poetry.








This year, our judge felt there were so many notable submissions that he also selected a Runner-Up and three Honourable Mentions! We’re thrilled to share these outstanding poems:



The Country East of Rossville, Indiana

by Phillip Crymble


——  after Al Purdy


It’s too cold to rain on a day like this,
but it does, and the sky is a gun
above the muddy fields. White barns
and farmhouses like distant banks
of melting snow against the wipers’ pulse.
It’s a dead run down 26 to the place
where cool was born, but in between —
where stop-lights flash at crossroads
never mapped — the corn-crop townships:
Sedalia, Phlox and Russiaville.
Once you get past Middle Fork, signs
in white and green along the fences
start to advertise Beck’s Corn Seed —
it’s from out of state. A painted cross
and floral wreaths of plastic at the shoulder
where a dirt road cuts a passage north.
The white-washed hangar down the road
from Hemlock is a meeting place.
Howard County’s Veterans must feel
at home among the drums of old insecticide.
Hackleman is in the dark — rain falls off
a lighted sign for Yazoo Mowers.
Fairmount, then the interstate.
Tractor-trailers slow the two-lane traffic
and I listen to Al Purdy on an old cassette.
Way back there out on 26 that house
at dusk so faintly lit against the fields —
a mirror in the family room and all the dull
and unstirred light of winter trapped inside.
But Al, you know, he’s telling me
of places where the kids leave quick, and how
we must enquire the way of strangers
it’s been so long since. A billboard
in the pouring rain points back. And though
the young James Dean is smiling,
there is nothing left to say.
I love this poem. I love the world it captures and I love how it captures it with Al Purdy and the way its lyric consciousness flows beautifully, like a winding back country Hoosier road, to the final echoing moment of the piece. – D.A. Lockhart

Phillip Crymble is a disabled writer and scholar living in Atlantic Canada. A poetry editor at The Fiddlehead and a doctoral candidate at UNB, he received his MFA from the University of Michigan and has published poems in The Malahat Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The Literary Review of Canada, The New Quarterly, CV2, The Forward Book of Poetry 2017, and elsewhere. In 2016, Not Even Laughter, his first full-length collection, was a finalist for both the New Brunswick Book Award and the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia’s J.M. Abraham Prize.


Honourable Mentions:


Alone and together by Lenea Grace
You Shall Have Homes, 1928 by Kim Fahner
Last Words by Katherine Pilon

The 2019 National Broadsheet Contest winning, runner-up, and honourable mention poems will feature in Poetry Pause in the coming months. Subscribe today and never miss tomorrow’s poem!