April 1, 2015: The League of Canadian Poets  are thrilled to announce the shortlists for the 2015 Raymond Souster Award, the Pat Lowther and Gerald Lampert Memorial Awards, and the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award.

The prizes will be awarded at the LCP Annual Poetry Festival and Conference in Winnipeg, MB on May 30th, 2015. Congratulations to all of the authors for their fine work, and many thanks to the jurors for their dedication to this year’s awards.

The Raymond Souster Award is given for a book of poetry by a League of Canadian Poets member published in the preceding year. The award honours the late Raymond Souster, an early founder of the League of Canadian Poets. The award carries a $1,000 prize.

Hyena Subpoena by Catherine Kidd (Popolo Press / Wired on Words)

Washita by Patrick Lane (Harbour Publishing)

Two Tragedies in 429 Breaths by Susan Paddon (Brick Books)

Pluck by Laisha Rosnau (Nightwood Editions)

Complicity by Adam Sol (McClelland & Stewart)

Janey’s Arcadia by Rachel Zolf (Coach House Books)

2015 Jury: Micheline Maylor, Susan McMaster, D.C. Reid

Author Bios, Pics and Juror’s Comments

The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award is given in the memory of Gerald Lampert, an arts administrator who organized authors’ tours and took a particular interest in the work of new writers. The award recognizes the best first book of poetry published by a Canadian in the preceding year. The award carries a $1,000 prize.

For Your Safety Please Hold On by Kayla Czaga (Nightwood Editions)

And I Alone Escaped to Tell You by Sylvia D. Hamilton (Gaspereau Press Ltd.)

^^^^^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^ [Sharps] by Stevie Howell (icehouse poetry)

Inheritance by Kerry-Lee Powell (Biblioasis)

Failure to Thrive by Suzannah Showler (ECW Press Ltd.)

The Quiet by Anne-Marie Turza (House of Anansi Press Inc.)

2015 Jury: Sonja Greckol, Charles Mountford, David Seymour

Author Bios, Pics and Juror’s Comments

The Pat Lowther Memorial Award is given for a book of poetry by a Canadian woman published in the preceding year, in memory of the late Pat Lowther, whose career was cut short by her untimely death in 1975. The award carries a $1,000 prize.

Halfling Spring: an internet romance by Joanne Arnott (Kegedonce Press)

School by Jen Currin (Coach House Books)

Tree Line by Judy Halebsky (New Issues Poetry & Prose)

A Quiet Coming of Light by Jude Neale (Leaf Press)

M x T by Sina Queyras (Coach House Books)

Cinema of the Present by Lisa Robertson (Coach House Books)

2015 Jury: Di Brandt, Candice James, Concetta Principe

Author Bios, Pics and Juror’s Comments


The League of Canadian Poets and Calgary Spoken Word Society are thrilled to announce the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award:


We are pleased to honor performance poet, activist and playwright Penn Kemp of London, Ontario for her influence and impact on spoken word in Canada. Penn Kemp is a Life Member of the League of Canadian Poets, was the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of London and has received the Queen Elizabeth 11 Diamond Jubilee medal for service to the arts. She has published twenty-five books of poetry and drama, had six plays and ten CDs produced as well as Canada’s first poetry CD-ROM and several award-winning videopoems. Penn has performed in arts festivals around the world, giving readings and workshops, often as writer in residence.

This $1000.00 annual 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 Golden Beret Award was first presented at the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival in 2007.

2015 Jury:  bill bissett, Moe Clark and Sheri-D Wilson

Previous Recipients: 2014 – bill bissett (Toronto, ON); 2013 – Tanya Evanson (Vancouver, BC); 2012 – Kirk Miles (Calgary, AB); 2011 – Ian Ferrier (Montreal, QC); 2010 – Wendy Morton (Victoria, BC); 2009 – Lillian Allen (Toronto, ON); 2008 – Sarah Murphy (Calgary, AB); 2007 – Murdoch Burnett (Comox, BC).


Follow us on Twitter @CanadianPoets and join in the fun by using the hashtags #eatingpoetry & #NPM15.


Throughout April and May, follow our NPM blog at www.poets.ca/blog and check out featured interviews with many of the shortlisted poets, as well as Penn Kemp.


Click on image to download PDF of poster.


For National Poetry Month, we are celebrating Food & Poetry with live readings across the country and online conversations across platforms! Follow along on our NPM blog at www.poets.ca/blog or on twitter @CanadianPoets and join in on the fun by using the hashtags #eatingpoetry & #NPM15.

This year we encouraged poets and hosts to explore and savour the theme of Food and Poetry. Inspired by Rachel Rose’s inaugural speech as Vancouver’s Poet Laureate (see below), we want to investigate the ways in which “food is personal, political, sensual and powerful”. Food nourishes, grounds and connects us, much like poetry. Without food as without poetry, we go hungry. There is so much that can be spoken of and written about food and one’s experience with it. Imagine your city alive with the energy of poetry shared over picnics, at food drives, in vegetable gardens or orchards.

“Everyone has something to say about food, whether it is the activist challenging the cruelties of conventional farming, the exile remembering the waft of spices on lost streets, or the child writing about the sockeye salmon she buys at Granville Island. Food is personal, political, sensual, and powerful. It concerns every one of us. It’s time to write hymns to dumplings, sonnets to community gardens, love lyrics to beekeepers, odes to the food banks that fed your family while you were sick, pantoums to the lost spices of home now that you are an exile, fierce free verse about conventional chicken farming, performance poetry about guerilla gardens, hymns to the feasts your grandmother prepared, incantations about poverty and food insecurity and bohemian rhapsodies about dumpster diving.” – Rachel Rose



71 Communities Joined the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge

As of April 23, 71 communities have taken up the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge issued by Calgary Mayor, Naheed Nenshi. These communities include one-third of Canada’s population, all 10 provinces, and Yukon Territory.  More are expected. The “Challenge” is to have one or more local poets read at the local council meeting in Celebration of UNESCO World Poetry Day (March 21) and National Poetry Month. About half of the communities have also declared WPD or NPN. At least 85 poets and 3 readers will read or perform in English, French, and Arabic. They include Toronto’s George Elliot Clarke, Calgary’s derek beaulieu, and 12 other poets laureate.   You are invited to Like the Challenge Facebook page, with a profile of the poets and other links. The Challenge is a program of the League of Canadian Poets (LCP) in partnership with the City of Calgary, Writers’ Guild of Alberta, and Calgary’s Loft 112 writers’ centre. Also see the LCP website for its national poetry award shortlists and the National Poetry Month blog.

What is the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge? The Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge is a national celebration of UNESCO’s World Poetry Day (March 21) and National Poetry Month in April. Begun in 2012, the Challenge is an annual initiative through which municipal councils across Canada open their Council meetings with a reading from a local poet. The aim is for local communities to celebrate poetry, writing, small presses and the contribution of poets and all writers to the rich cultural life in our country.

The Challenge was first offered by Regina’s Mayor Pat Fiacco and continued by Mayor Michael Fougere. This year, Calgary has taken over as the host city, with Mayor Naheed Nenshi offering the challenge to his fellow Canadian mayors. This year’s initiative is a collaboration between the League of Canadian Poets, the city of Calgary, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta and Loft 112. For more information and a list of participating cities visit: http://poets.ca/programs-2/mayors-poetry-city-challenge-2015/

Quelle est le défi de la poésie?

Le défi de la poésie du maire est une célébration nationale pour La journée mondiale de la poésie de l’Unesco (le 21 mars) ainsi que Le mois national de la poésie en avril. Conçu en 2012, le défi est une initiative annuelle qui invite les conseils municipaux à travers le Canada à ouvrir une de leurs réunions avec la lecture d’un poème par un poète local. Il s’agit de célébrer la poésie, lʼécriture et les petites presses en reconnaissant la contribution des poètes et de tous les écrivains, à la richesse culturelle de nos communautés.

Le Défi a vu le jour grâce au Maire Pat Fiacco de Régina et a été par la suite repris par le Maire Michael Fougere. Cette année c’est le Maire Naheed Nenshi de Calgary qui lance le défi à ses confrères à travers le pays. L’initiative 2015 est une collaboration de La ligue des poètes du Canada avec la Ville de Calgary, La confrérie des écrivains de l’Alberta et Loft 112.

De quoi sʼagit Le défi de la poésie??

subterrain_Lush_web_2014SUBTERRAIN MAGAZINE’S 13th ANNUAL


Open for entries!


FICTION: maximum 3,000 words (no specific theme, we simply want to be amazed!);

POETRY: A suite of 5 related poems (maximum 15 pages);

CREATIVE NON-FICTION (Based on fact, adorned w/fiction): Maximum 4,000 words. 


The winning entries in each category will receive a $1,000 cash prize (plus payment for publication) and will be published in the Winter ’15 issue. First runner-up in each category will be published in our Spring 2016 issue.


May 15, 2015

(postmarked, or submit online at http://subterrain.ca/ by May 15th, 11:59PM Pacific Standard Time)

The $27.50 entry fee includes a complimentary one-year subscription to subTerrain. Enter now, enter often!

For full contest details visit: http://subterrain.ca/