Announcing the Winners of the League of Canadian Poets 2016 Poetry Awards

Crozier, Ladouceur and Weslowski Announced as Winners of the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award,
the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the Raymond Souster Award,
and the Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award, as LCP Kicks off 50th Anniversary Celebrations

>> From the League of Canadian Poets

Toronto, Monday, June 20, 2016: On Saturday, June 18, The League of Canadian Poets (LCP) revealed the 2016 winners of the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the Raymond Souster Award, and the Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award, at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. Three additional recipients were also awarded prizes for the Honorary Membership Award, the Life Membership Award, and the Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award. The awards ceremony and luncheon, which took place during the inaugural Canadian Writers’ Summit, also marked the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the League of Canadian Poets.

 

Congratulations to Lorna Crozier, winner of both the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the Raymond Souster Award, to Ben Ladouceur, winner of our Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and to Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award winner RC Weslowski!

 

GERALD LAMPERT MEMORIAL AWARD

Awarded annually since 1981, the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award is given in the memory of Gerald Lampert, an arts administrator who organized author tours and took a particular interest in the work of new writers. The award recognizes a first book of poetry published by a Canadian writer in the preceding year. The award carries a $1000 prize and is sponsored by the LCP.

 

2016 Shortlist:

Rue by Melissa Bull (Anvil Press)

Laws & Locks by Chad Campbell (Véhicule Press)

Transmitter and Receiver by Raoul Fernandes (Nightwood Editions)

Otter by Ben Ladouceur (Coach House Books)

Hacker Packer by Cassidy McFadzean (McClelland & Stewart)

Mockingbird by Derek Webster (Véhicule Press)

 

Winner: Otter by Ben Ladouceur (Coach House Books)

2016 Jurors: Jim Johnstone, Micheline Maylor, Dwayne Morgan

 

Jurors’ Comments:
Otter’s relevant and finely honed skill shows exceptional attention and craft. His voice is edgy with honesty and originality. Elegies for things lost and weighted infuse the book with a tone of sorrowful yearning. Friends, lovers, and family are portraited with linguistic and syntactical care, such as in “I Am In Love With Your Brother,” or “Armadillo.” Ladoucer’s gritty perspective allows access to the world of a gay man, his loves, lusts, and fears laid bare with raw clarity and unabashed eroticism. This sort of bravery is rarely found in a first collection.

 

PAT LOWTHER MEMORIAL AWARD

Open to Canadian women, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award has been awarded annually since 1981 for a book of poetry published in the preceding year. This prize is in memory of the late Pat Lowther, whose career was cut short by her untimely death in 1975. The award carries a $1000 prize is sponsored by the LCP.

 

2016 Shortlist:

 

The Wrong Cat by Lorna Crozier (McClelland & Stewart)

calling down the sky by Rosanna Deerchild (Bookland Press)

Terra Incognita by Adebe DeRango-Adem (INNANA Publications and Education Inc.)

The Poison Colour by Maureen Hynes (Pedlar Press)

Marry & Burn by Rachel Rose (Harbour Publishing)

Trio by Sarah Tolmie (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

 

Winner: The Wrong Cat by Lorna Crozier (McClelland & Stewart)

2016 Jurors: Judith Neale, Vanessa Shields, Joan Shillington
Jurors’ Comments:
The Wrong Cat is a book deeply nuanced in its exploration of the human condition. It encompasses the political and the sensual as it is layered with vivid imagery and powerful metaphor that moves between the animal, human and spiritual world with a gentle ferocity. Crozier’s poetry is rooted in the intimate that pulls the heart into each line and holds it there. It is fresh and insightful too, not easily done for a writer who has given us such an abundance of extraordinary poems in her long and laudable career. A career that offers both a guide to writing poetry that holds the world together and how to hold the self together as the world unravels.

RAYMOND SOUSTER AWARD

Open only to League members, the Raymond Souster Award was started in 2013 to honour Raymond Souster, an early founder of the League of Canadian Poets. The award is presented annually for a book of poetry published in the preceding year. The award carries a $1000 prize and is sponsored by the LCP.

 

2016 Shortlist:

 

The Wrong Cat by Lorna Crozier (McClelland & Stewart)

The Pemmican Eaters by Marilyn Dumont (ECW Press)

The Poison Colour by Maureen Hynes (Pedlar Press)

Standard Candles by Alice Major (University of Alberta Press)

The Arrow of Time by Bruce Meyer (Ronsdale Press)

The Thunderbird Poems by Armand Ruffo (Harbour Publishing)

 

Winner: The Wrong Cat by Lorna Crozier (McClelland & Stewart)

2016 Jurors: Jenna Butler, Wendy Morton, Charles Mountford
Jurors’ Comments:
These are superbly realized lyrical poems. They are sophisticated and technically graceful. The book is “sly, sexy, irreverent and sad” with, always, a serious river of emotion running beneath it.

SHERI-D WILSON GOLDEN BERET AWARD
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Golden Beret Award was created by Sheri-D Wilson—a pioneer of spoken word poetry in Canada—to honour a Canadian spoken word artist who has made a substantial contribution to the development of spoken word, through the originality and excellence of his or her own writing/performance works, and through involvement in—and contributions to—the expansion of the spoken word community. The award was first presented at the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival in 2007 and carries a $1000 prize.

 

The League of Canadian Poets, in partnership with the Calgary Spoken Word Society, were pleased to welcome and honour RC Weslowski, of Vancouver, BC, as the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award, for his influence and impact on spoken word in Canada. He is a multi- talented performer who loves to walk between worlds to see what the ghost dragged in. RC wears many masks including poet, clown, storyteller, playwright, broadcaster, voice actor, coach and educator. Over the past 15 years he has toured North America, the United Kingdom and parts of Europe including many spoken word, poetry and music festivals.

 

2016 Jurors: Penn Kemp, Ian Ferrier and Sheri-D Wilson

 

AWARDS RECOGNIZING SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO POETRY IN CANADA

The League of Canadian Poets also presented three awards for significant contribution to poetry in Canada: the Honorary Membership Award, the Life Membership Award, and the Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award. The LCP is pleased to welcome Ben McNally, of the beloved Toronto bookstore Ben McNally Books, to the League as an honorary member thanks to his ongoing support of poetry and literature, and thrilled to grant Armand Garnet Ruffo life membership for his contributions to Canadian poetry. Penn Kemp presented Bruce Rice with the Colleen Thibaudau Award, honoring and thanking him for his efforts in establishing the now-annual Poetry City Challenge, which reaches Mayors and councils in communities large and small across Canada.
LEAGUE OF CANADIAN POETS TURNS 50!

2016 marks the 50th Anniversary of The League of Canadian Poets! To celebrate this momentous milestone, stories from League members will be featured on our blog and in our monthly newsletters throughout the year. Do you have a League story to tell? We’d love to hear your funny anecdote from an AGM, a tale of a memorable reading, or a poignant piece about a particularly important moment in your writing life. Send your submissions to [email protected]. Visit poets.ca/LCP50 for more information.

 

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ABOUT THE LEAGUE OF CANADIAN POETS
Founded in 1966 to nurture the advancement of poetry in Canada, the LCP is the professional organization for Canadian poets. Through community engagement, educational partnerships, and event organization, the League creates professional and creative networking opportunities for writers and arts professionals across Canada. It administers annual awards, programs and funds for governments and private donors, as well as produces poetry and non-fiction publications to encourage an appreciative readership and audience for poetry. The League strives to promote equal opportunities for poets from every literary tradition and cultural and demographic background. For more information visit http://poets.ca/.

 

The Calgary Spoken Word Society is a non-profit organization whose mandate is to showcase local, national & international artists; to present culturally diverse works; to offer innovative and progressive approaches to literacy; and to give voice to under-represented communities.

 

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