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!



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.



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.


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.

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



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.

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 for more information.



Follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Tag us at @CanadianPoets or use the hashtag #LCP50.

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


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.


CAA Lit Awards Winners Revealed

CAA Lit Awards Winners Revealed

>> From the Canadian Authors Association

June 18, 2016 – The Canadian Authors Association today announced the winners of its 2016 Literary Awards during a lunch event held at the Canadian Writers’ Summit in Toronto, Ontario.


The 2015 Canadian Authors Literary Awards winners are as follows:


CAA Award for Fiction

  • Nino Ricci, Toronto, Ontario, for Sleep (Doubleday Canada)


CAA Award for Canadian History

  • Debra Komer, Collingwood, Ontario, for The Bastard of Fort Stikine: The Hudson’s Bay Company and the Murder of John McLoughlin Jr.  (Goose Lane Editions)


CAA Award for Poetry

  • Joe Denham, Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia, for Regeneration Machine (Nightwood Editions)


CAA Emerging Writer Award

  • Kayla Czaga, Vancouver, British Columbia, nominated by Nightwood Editions


Canadian Authors Fred Kerner Award

  • Caroline Vu, Montreal, Quebec, for Palawan Story (Deux Voiliers Publishing)


Introduced in 1975, the CAA Literary Awards honour Canadian writers who achieve excellence without sacrificing popular appeal – a tradition originally begun in 1937 with the creation of the Governor General’s medals for literature (now overseen by the Canada Council of the Arts). The competition is open to all writers who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. This event marks the second time the awards have been held during the Leacock Summer Festival.


Founded by Stephen Leacock and several other prominent Canadian writers in 1921, the Canadian Authors Association has continued to maintain a focus on “writers helping writers” since its inception.

Winners Announced for the 2015 Danuta Gleed Literary Award


>> From the Writers’ Union of Canada 

TORONTO – The Writers’ Union of Canada announced this evening that Heather O’Neill is the recipient of the $10,000 first prize in the 19th annual Danuta Gleed Literary Award, recognizing the best first collection of short fiction by a Canadian author published in 2015 in the English language.

Of Heather O’Neill’s book Daydreams of Angels (published by HarperCollins Canada), jury members Shauna Singh Baldwin, Barry Dempster and Dora Dueck said: “Gypsies, cherubs, androids, wolf boys and the Marquis de Sade are just a few of the characters who populate Heather O’Neill’s Daydreams of Angels, a fanciful, fantastical collection of post-modern fairy tales. Despite the sweetness at the core of almost every story, the book is filled with dark, often sticky, surprises. You’re guaranteed to come away from an O’Neill story both delighted and disturbed; she can go from the heights of glee to devilish anxiety in the space of a paragraph. Hers is a world of great imaginative alchemy. Whether she’s writing about shipwrecks, babies washed up on the beach or Rudolf Nureyev clones, she’s dead serious about her shape-shifting themes, fearless in the face of the wild and the absurd.”

Heather O’Neill is the author of The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, which was a finalist for the 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her first novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, won CBC Canada Reads and the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. It was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Orange Prize. She was born in Montreal, where she currently lives.

Runners-up Andrew Forbes and Kevin Hardcastle will each receive $500.

Of Andrew Forbes’ What You Need (published by Invisible Publishing) the jury said: “Andrew Forbes’ stories in What You Need are plainly spoken, his characters ending up in bar fights, playing high school sports and building thermonuclear devices in their garages. He has a gift for balancing good old-fashioned narratives with surprising implosions of fate. Voice and details are his strong point. Whether they’re digging up a dead friend or puzzling over their daughter’s ability to walk through walls, his characters are easy to relate to, they are true to themselves and they engage the reader, who can’t wait to turn the page. What You Need is insightful and intelligent, sharp and deep as bone.”

Of Kevin Hardcastle’s Debris (published by Biblioasis) the jury said: “Debris is a spare and shadow-drenched book, the sentences well-wrought, the voice never less than distinctive. His characters include a cage fighter being tracked down by the Hell’s Angels, a night clerk at a seedy hotel who makes moonshine whisky and a gas contract salesman wearing out his shoes in a number of Alberta towns. These are tough-talking men who advertise their misery like a kind of nakedness. Strangely, the result of all this suffering and violence is a beauty that at times takes your breath away.”

The short list of five books was announced on May 10, 2016 and also included Gerard Beirne’s In a Time of Drought and Hunger (published by Oberon Press) and Hugh Graham’s Last Words (published by Exile Editions).

The Danuta Gleed Literary Award was created as a celebration of the life of Danuta Gleed, a writer whose short fiction won several awards before her death in December 1996. Danuta Gleed’s first collection of short fiction, One of the Chosen, was posthumously published by BuschekBooks.  The award is made possible through a generous donation from John Gleed, in memory of his late wife, and is administered by The Writers’ Union of Canada.

The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing professional authors of books.  Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada and promoting the rights, freedoms and economic well-being of all writers. 

Leah Horlick wins the 10th Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize

Leah Horlick wins the 10th Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize

Award for LGBT Emerging Writers to be presented at Canadian Writers’ Summit

>> From the Writers’ Trust of Canada

Toronto, ON – June 7, 2016 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced today that Leah Horlick is the winner of the 10th annual Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers.  The $4,000 prize is presented annually to an emerging writer who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, and whose published work demonstrates great literary promise. This year’s prize ceremony will take place at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre on June 18, as part of the Canadian Writers’ Summit.

In addition, honours of distinction will be given to Gwen Benaway and jia qing wilson-yang, who will each receive $250 in prize money.

Leah Horlick is a writer and poet who grew up in Saskatoon. She now lives in Vancouver, where she and Esther McPhee co-curate REVERB, a queer and anti-oppressive reading series. She has published two collections of poetry, Riot Lung, which was shortlisted for a ReLit Award and a Saskatchewan Book Award, and For Your Own Good, which received an honour from the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Awards.

A jury composed of bookseller Anjula Gogia, poet Billeh Nickerson, and fiction writer Casey Plett selected the winner and honour of distinction recipients. Their citation on the winner reads:

Leah Horlick’s poetry harvests solace and beauty from lands often thought too dark to cultivate. Hers is a poetry of surviving and, indeed, thriving in the spaces where prairie meets ocean and where love can be complicated. Both Riot Lung and For Your Own Good are must reads. Rarely has a poet transformed silence and taboo into such potent epiphanies.

Gwen Benaway is a two-spirited poet of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She was born in Huron Country and currently lives in Toronto. Her first collection of poetry, Ceremonies for the Dead, was published in 2013 and her second collection is forthcoming from Kegedonce Press this fall.

jia qing wilson-yang is a mixed race trans woman living in Toronto. Her debut novel, Small Beauty, was published by Metonymy Press this spring. Her writing has appeared in Room magazine and the anthology Letters Lived: Radical Reflections, Revolutionary Paths.

“For the past decade, the Dayne Ogilvie Prize has shone a light on the talented writers emerging from Canada’s LGBT community,” said Mary Osborne, executive director of the Writers’ Trust. “Recognition from the jury provides these writers an encouraging psychological boost and spurs them on as their careers develop.”

The prizewinner and honour of distinction recipients will be celebrated at a ceremony hosted by past prize honouree Brian Francis. This special event takes place during the Canadian Writers’ Summit on Saturday, June 18 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.  The event is free to attend and all are welcome. Event details can be found at


About the Prize

Robin Pacific established the prize in 2007 to honour her late friend, Dayne Ogilvie, who was a respected editor, writer, literary manager, and passionate lover of all the arts.

Presented for the 10th year in 2016, the Dayne Ogilvie Prize rewards emerging writers whose body of work demonstrates great potential and who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Past winners of the prize are Alex Leslie, Tamai Kobayashi, C.E. Gatchalian, Amber Dawn, Farzana Doctor, Nancy Jo Cullen, Debra Anderson, Zoe Whittall, and Michael V. Smith.


About the Writers’ Trust

The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs, including literary awards, a fellowship, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country. Information about the Writers’ Trust can be found at

The Writer’s Union of Canada Launches #WhyWritersMatter Campaign

>>From the Writer’s Union of Canada


In conjunction with the inaugural Canadian Writers’ Summit taking place June 15-19, 2016 at Harbourfront in Toronto, The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is launching its#WhyWritersMatter Campaign.
Canadian writers play an essential and pivotal role in every aspect of our lives. The#WhyWritersMatter Campaign is designed to remind us of the value and importance of writers, and the role they play in our lives. TWUC is asking all Canadians why they think writers matter in today’s world.
The Union is honoured by the responses it has received to date:
Writers enhance our understanding of one another, fostering a sense of connectedness that nurtures a compassionate society. — Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
Writers matter because they preserve and strengthen culture and stories. — Waubgeshig Rice, Author and Journalist
Writers matter because we weave the narrative threads that connect us with each other and with shared place. — Heather Menzies, Chair, The Writers’ Union of Canada
Writers set off sparks in our minds and hearts, start wheels of empathy turning, shine rays of perspective. Writers leave readers transformed. — Gillian Deacon, CBC Host, Here and Now
Writers matter because they make things up which are true. — The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson
To understand, explore, lament, and glory in all that makes us human, we turn to stories, to writers. — Randy Boyagoda, President PEN Canada
Writers are the nearest we’ve got so far to inventing telepathy and time travel. — Emma Donoghue, author and Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Room
Writers challenge the way things are by unravelling the stories of people and places that would otherwise remain unknown and strange to us. —  Jael Richardson, Author and Artistic Director, The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD)
Tell us why YOU think writers matter. Tweet using the hashtag #whywritersmatter.
Visit to find more quotes from other prominent Canadians and people around the world.
– 30 –
The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing more than 2,000 professional authors of books. The Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers.

For more information, visit the press release on the Writer’s Union of Canada website.

Page 3 of 5112345...102030...Last »