The League of Canadian Poets Congratulates the Winners of the 2015 Raymond Souster Award,
the Pat Lowther and Gerald Lampert Memorial Awards, and the Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award
The League of Canadian Poets revealed the winners of the 2015 Raymond Souster Award, the Pat Lowther and Gerald Lampert Memorial Awards, and the Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award in Winnipeg on Saturday, May 30, at a joint conference presented by the LCP and the Writers Union of Canada. The celebration marked the 49th annual LCP Poetry Conference and Festival.
Winners of the 2015 League of Canadian Poets Prizes
2015 RAYMOND SOUSTER AWARD
Winner: Washita by Patrick Lane (Harbour Publishing)
2015 Jury: Micheline Maylor, Susan McMaster, D.C. Reid
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 and is sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets.
At times startling, at times soft with nostalgia, always attentive to language and image. There is a deep and sensory tension between what is an interior experience and what is exterior. Deeply moving and beautiful. This is a mature poet’s book infused with sabi (Japanese: the beauty and serenity that comes with age).
2015 PAT LOWTHER AWARD
Winner: M x T by Sina Queyras (Coach House Books)
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 is sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets.
Sina Queyras mystically sews the ghost to the body, the dead to the living, the thread of ‘what if ’ to the cloth of ‘it is’. The dialogues with the dead are softly honed into majestic surreal sculptures as Queyras paints us into a different kind of reality alive with the dead and scriptures of the third kind. A thrilling fusion of defiance and vulnerability, and quirky humour. Experimental writing with a lot of heart.
2015 GERALD LAMPERT MEMORIAL AWARD
Winner: For Your Safety Please Hold On by Kayla Czaga (Nightwood Editions)
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 and is sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets.
Kayla Czaga’s For Your Safety Please Hold On moves line by flawless line along an arc in|from broken bodies through re|construction into troubled and troubling metaphor. In this first collection, which offers the reader a growth project, a deeply embodied girl child and young woman meets her world (personal and literary) with sly and contemplative thought that experiments with itself. Czaga unfurls experience, observation and development with complexity and more that a little humour suspending a reader between this page’s moment of assurance and the next moment’s unsettling observation. This work is a thrill.
Winner: Penn Kemp
2015 Jury: bill bissett, Moe Clark and Sheri-D Wilson
The Sheri-D Wilson 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 carries a $1,000 prize and is sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets and Calgary Spoken Word Society.
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.