pexels-photo-large2016 will mark the 50th Anniversary of The League of Canadian Poets! To celebrate this momentous milestone 50 stories from League members will be featured on our blog (poets.ca/blog) and in our monthly newsletters throughout 2016. 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 admin@poets.ca.

What:  A first hand story that is 500 words or less and includes the League of Canadian Poets. Please include 1-2 pictures in JPEG format. This could be a photo from the event you wrote about, a current photo of you or one from the time when the story took place, a photo of the cover of a collection you mention, etc – get creative! If you have a website, twitter or Instagram, include a link so we can credit you and send readers that way.

When:    Submit by January 31st, 2016. Stories will be published throughout 2016.

Where: E-mail your submissions to admin@poets.ca or mail printed or typed versions to the League office. Find them posted on poets.ca/blog.

Who:      You! Send us your vibrant, touching, funny, unforgettable stories and memories.

Why:      Because there wouldn’t be a League without you!


francis sparshottIt is with great sadness that the League of Canadian Poets learnt this week of the passing of poet and philosopher, Francis Edward Sparshott. Sparshott was born in Chatham, England, on May 19, 1926. He received a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University and came to Canada in 1950 to teach philosophy at the University of Toronto. He had been a member of the League of Canadian Poets since 1968 and served as President from 1977 to 1979.  His poetry has been described as being witty, poignant, beautiful, combining the perceptiveness of philosophy with the homeliness of life. In his own words, he aspired to write “a drier sort of Horace”. Sparshott’s metaphysical poem, The Cave of Trophonius, won the CBC Literary Award in 1981.  He was elected a Life Member in 2006 in recognition of his contribution to poetry and the League. He will be greatly missed.

Ayesha Chatterjee

 She has made me a wind to wander through March orchards,
 Trailing the apple blossom behind my eyes, and making
 The sparrows sing as I touch them: I am a wind winnowed
 By love for the moon, the delicate, painless loving.
 - Excerpt, Full Moon, Francis Sparshott


member-billetingThe League of Canadian Poets is now offering an online service through which members can connect with each other in order to billet while on a book tour. Sharing your home for a night with a fellow poet is a great way to help out, meet new friends, connect with the poetry community, and maybe even make some poetic magic happen! If you are interested in hosting a League member, kindly email readings@poets.ca with your full name, hometown and the email address you would us to list online. Keep in mind that we will use the information you provide to compile an online database through which other members will be contacting you.

If you’re unsure how to access the member-only Billet database or have forgotten the password please email readings@poets.ca.





instagramIcon_400x400Have you been taking photos at your readings and poetry events!? Share them with us to be featured on the League’s Instagram account. When submitting please provide a brief description with date of the event and ensure to include the name of the person who the photo was taken by. We look forward to receiving your submissions! Email up to three photos from each event in JPG format (150 dpi +) to admin@poets.ca.



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.

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.

Judges’ Comments:
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)

9781552452905_Queyras_MxTWeb 2015 Jury: Di Brandt, Candice James, Concetta Principe

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.

Judges’ Comments:

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

08897130302015 Jury: Sonja Greckol, Charles Mountford, David Seymour

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.

Judges’ Comments:

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.

 2015 Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award Winner: Penn Kemp

PennKemp20'shead20132015 Jury:  bill bissett, Moe Clark, 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.

Judges’ Comments:
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.