League of Canadian Poets
920 Yonge Street, Suite 608
Toronto, ON M4W 3C7
Background – The League of Canadian Poets
The establishment of the League of Canadian Poets (LCP) in 1966 was a defining moment in Canadian cultural history. It marked the time when a whole new generation of Canadian poets emerged and when the explosion in the publishing of poetry marked a fundamental change in Canadian literature. Canadians proudly recognized who they were. Poetry became the business and the voice of the national community.
The League of Canadian Poets has grown to some 700 members across Canada. The LCP sponsors over 400 readings per year and the LCP website has over 600,000 hits per month. LCP services include the four reading programs, programs for youth and educators, and the prestigious Gerald Lampert and Pat Lowther memorial awards and an all new Raymond Souster award for a new poetry books by members. The LCP organizes poetry events across Canada as part of National Poetry Month in April and represents Canadian poets both nationally in internationally. The LCP supports freedom of speech in Canada and the human rights of writers, editors, journalists, photographers and artists in other countries through organizations like PEN International and Amnesty International.
LCP members are active in their local communities as well. Our members are active in literacy campaigns, they teach in prisons for both men and women, they work with survivors of abuse and family violence, and provide a bridge between emerging writers in Aboriginal and ethnic communities and arts organizations, and they mentor young writers. LCP members passed a motion at the 2004 Annual Meeting that reinforces the LCP’s commitment to inclusiveness and outreach to writers in ethnic communities and other groups.
The League of Canadian Poets serves the poetry community and promotes a high level of professional achievement through events, networking, projects, publications, mentoring and awards. It administers programs and funds for governments and private donors and encourages an appreciative readership and audience for poetry through educational partnerships and presentations to diverse groups. As the recognized voice of Canadian poets, it represents their concerns to governments, publishers, and society at large, and maintains connections with similar organizations at home and abroad. The LCP strives to promote equal opportunities for poets from every literary tradition and cultural and demographic background.
Over the past several years, the League of Canadian Poets has:
- Created a new poetry book award in honour of founding member Raymond Souster.
- Launched National Poetry Month in Canada.
- Established a network of publishers, bookstores, libraries, reading venues and the media.
- Launched the most comprehensive websites for poetry in Canada.
- Launched youngpoets.ca, an award-winning website for youth, with listservs for students and teachers.
- Published the 10th edition of Poetry Markets for Canadians – an essential guide to markets for Canadian poets
- Worked with the Senate committee to establish the position of Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate
- Helped establish a Poet Laureate for Toronto.
- Established and operates a poetry contest for Canadian youth with a goal to discover new poetic talent and promote poetry in schools.
- Established and obtained permanent funding for the annual Anne Szumugalski lecture series, in which a recognized Canadian poet is able to reflect on issues important to contemporary poetry and poets.
The LCP also continues to carry on its traditional services to promote poetry, such as:
- Presenting the annual Pat Lowther and Gerald Lampert Memorial Awards to recognize outstanding new books of poetry.
- Coordinating 4 readings programs across the country.
- Maintaining a library of more than 3500 books of Canadian poetry.
- Representing Canadian poetry and Canadian poetry publishers at book fairs and exhibits, both nationally and internationally.