The League’s mission is to develop the art of poetry; to enhance the status of poets and nurture a professional poetic community; to facilitate the teaching of Canadian poetry at all levels of education; to enlarge the audience for poetry by encouraging publication, performance and recognition of Canadian poetry nationally and internationally; to uphold freedom of expression.
The League of Canadian Poets is the professional organization for established and emerging Canadian poets. Founded in 1966 to nurture the advancement of poetry in Canada, and the promotion of the interests of poets, it now comprises over 700 members. The League 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 League strives to promote equal opportunities for poets from every literary tradition and cultural and demographic background.
Members of the League are professional poets who are actively contributing to the development, growth, and public profile of poetry in Canada. We are happy to have members from all across Canada at all stages in their careers, and we are proud of the valuable network of writers this has created! If you are interested in becoming a member of the League, check out our membership page.
For a short history of the League from 1966 to 1995, you can download our online publication “A Selective History of the League of Canadian Poets.” The publication–by no means a complete or official history of the League–was compiled from archived newsletters, AGM minutes, past editions of Who’s Who in the League of Canadian Poets, and Cathy Ford’s Out of Con/Tex: Creating a Living Archive of Feminism in Stats, Memos & Memory. Betsy Struthers, League President from 1995 to 1996, created this selective history based on the listed documents, as well as by gathering information through brief but illuminating conversations with Cathy Ford, Maria Jacobs, and Robert Priest.
You can also find out more about the League’s early days by downloading Making the Damn Thing Work, prepared by Raymond Souster for the League’s 35th anniversary with the assistance of Carleton Wilson.
Want to know more? Check out our page of frequently asked questions!
(click to download)