dylan mansfield winner of the 2023 paddy o'rourke poetry scholarship

Our 2023 Recipient: Dylan Mansfield

Dylan hails from Wawota, Saskatchewan.

The judges were impressed with the maturity, wit and literary skill of Dylan’s work. One judge commented, “The musicality of the language was especially appealing. This poet’s use of alliteration and internal rhyme in metrical phrases helped establish wonderful rhythm.”

Dylan plans to attend the University of Calgary to study sustainable system engineering. He writes, “Although I am going into post-secondary engineering, I still intend to pursue a career in writing. I am very grateful for the Paddy O’Rourke Poetry Scholarship, and plan to make the most of every dollar!”



I see my family surrounding me

Mother bears the chocolate cake.

On the inside, a layer of icing sits comfy between spongy goodness;

the outside, crispy candy coatings dashed with fiery candles and tiramisu.

I desert the flames from my dessert.

Candles ablaze on chocolate glaze were wiped clean by my wind.


I hear aunts and uncles clap their hands.

They slap their palms in unison, singing that song we all know and love.

The TV hums a slight static over the hockey game;

The little pup huffs and puffs through its pug nose.


It’s the typical noise for my birthday joys.

My eardrums humble from the chatter and hubbub.


I feel the corduroy couch cushioning my body.

Blue and yellow pillows mellow my mood as I lie back and rest.

Moist, fluffy cake crumbs slip between my lips;

an explosion of taste riding on a spoon missile.


I love my birthday, my family, and their food.

A yearly tradition made with mood and ambition.