Review: Writers North of 54° Chapbooks

Snow Feathers and Skunk Cabbage anthologies from Writers North of 54° 2016 | Contact Harold Fedderson at haroldfeddersen@gmail.com to purchase these chapbooks poems of winter and renewal Review by Lesley Strutt Whatever else we are, Canadians are a nordic people. Our psyche is shaped by our geography. No matter whether we hail … [click for more]

Flight Speed by Lesley Strutt

yellow finch sun-framed the window smeared with the wet eye of a woodpecker lying on the stones now    neck broken no wonder I take off for weeks on end “What are you looking for?” you ask I want flight speed    when I don’t stop to think I can … [click for more]

Heaven Help the Roses by Mark A. McCutcheon

For Pauline Davis, a.k.a. “the Peace Lady,” 1943-2017 Toronto knew her as the Peace Lady: For hours she’d stand athwart an overpass That spanned the Parkway through the valley Don; On Steeles, on Finch, on Lawrence, Eglinton. She wore a white robe, her brown hand held high; Two fingers telegraphing, simply, Peace. … [click for more]

Fresh Voices: Roy Adams, Carol Casey

Welcome to the fourteenth edition of Fresh Voices, a project from and for the League’s associate members. The League’s associate members are talented poets who are writing and publishing poetry on their way to becoming established professional poets in the Canadian literary community. We are excited to be taking this opportunity … [click for more]

Sel by Kate Marshall Flaherty

I would never scold an onion  for causing tears     – Naomi Shihab Nye    I learned the salt content of tears is the same as blood and the sea—   that lysosomes  are healing enzymes,   and sea salt  has nourishing minerals.   We are the same three-fourths water as the earth.   Grey Dead Sea salt … [click for more]

Migrations by Eleonore Schönmaier

The police squint  into the glare on the water looking for small boats.  On a clear day the lightkeeper sees all the way   to Algeria.  Over his sofa hangs a tapestry woven by his grandmother from red   human hair.  Only the birds travel without papers. Though often now   their tiny … [click for more]

Toccata by Joanne Epp

That first lift in the wind, its rough push that sends you staggering. That whisk of leaves across the path. Your hair blown back. A sweeping-out of dead wood, of melancholy. Breathless laughter in the gusts that snatch your voice away. You meet no one except those two who turned … [click for more]

Hamilton Escarpment Park by Ed Woods

steep edge drop-off hidden night effects panoramic view relaxation cabana protection one bench overtaken homeless mans home layers of sleeping bags bundled residual heat melts snow showers my civic plow routine to clear streets for commuters transit and economic needs time for midnight coffee break I request a double order … [click for more]

Suddenly Leaves by Daniela Elza

Letting go .                        of serrated edges   after the rain                stretched flat on unfamiliar pavement  .                       leaves bleed themselves into sidewalks          turning   their webbed essence … [click for more]

Because it snowed by Louise Carson

Soft (as falling snow makes no mistake, covers no missing person or re-shapes the lie of land without a gifting temporariness that cloaks and cleans) and sweet (as when peepers crawl from under winter’s silence, and each call, a raindrop, punctures water’s surface, imprinted where you and I, love, drift … [click for more]

LCP Chapbook Series

The League is embarking on a new quarterly chapbook publication program with the express intent to center diverse voices and rising poetic talents in Canada. The LCP Chapbook Series will publish fresh and exceptional Canadian poetry guided by various themes and forms to increase visibility and recognition for the various … [click for more]

There is a voice by Bänoo Zan

that sings your song  opens your veins to blood  There is a voice who is not you  gives you words you never had  invites you  to the allegory   of the cave  There is a voice in whose tales  you are a myth  shatters your pettiness  and makes you whole  There … [click for more]

Goose in the Bottle by Murray Reiss

The governor of California used to be into Zen. Now he wants Leslie van Houten to explain how she transformed from an upstanding teenager—homecoming princess no less—into a killer who tied a pillow over Rosemary La Bianca’s head with a lamp cord, held her down while another member of Charles … [click for more]

Marcus by Melanie Thompson

“There is lipstick smeared across my mirror. I have crushed so many tubes that I am left with a palette of shades of pink, orange, and red; a myriad of feminine torment. There are still strands of hair woven in my carpet from two fortnights ago, when I took Mother’s … [click for more]

Ars Poetica by Amanda Earl

Some poets celebrate the quietude of spaces, hear music in the awkwardness of silence. Others choke the breath out of a trope. Some leave the starving text to perish. Others carry punctuation marks through the rough. Record the huff of air, pay heed to the rustle of consonants. Some take … [click for more]

Surrender by Lesley Strutt

I take a breath    decant the air   smell  not sorrow    not grief    the damp is not   tinged with death   it lasts  longer than my swift intake shorter   than my life  elegance is not what I am seeking    and yet here    pungent deep and still  waiting where it always was    among … [click for more]

Domestic by Catherine Graham

after “My heart lives in my chest” by Dorothy Molloy He sculpts my words with the chisel of his mouth. Fits me inside his mind’s binding. I do what I’m told to get my playpen back, the edge of no to end each day. What did I do to exit … [click for more]

Review: Auguries | By Clea Roberts

Brick Books | 2017 | 104 Page | $20.00 | Purchase online Signs, Signals, Divinations: Clea Roberts’ Auguries Review by Susan McCaslin Clea Roberts’ spare, finely-crafted Auguries (Brick Books, 2017) is, as the title suggests, a scanning of the Yukon sky and landscape for signs and portents of mysteries both hidden … [click for more]

The Writing Parent – Support System How-Tos

Column by Vanessa Shields I know there are many of us who are writers and parents. This is a wild duality to live. My intention with this column is to write about the challenges of being a parent and a writer. I aim to share stories that reflect both the difficult … [click for more]

REVIEW: FOX HAUNTS | BY PENN KEMP

Aeolus House | 2018 | 97 Page | $20.00 | Purchase online Review by Stanley Fefferman, also found on Opus One Review The way suburban garden fences are a line the fox crosses from the countryside to steal our chickens, is like the line fox, since time immemorial, has crossed … [click for more]

ORDER YOUR COPY OF HEARTWOOD!

To order a copy of Heartwood: Poems for the Love of Trees ($25 including tax) directly from the League office, please email nicole@poets.ca with the all of the following information: First Name: Last Name: Email for invoice: Mailing Address for books:  Number of copies you’d like to order:  Within 5 days … [click for more]

2018 LEAGUE AWARD WINNERS

On Saturday, June 16, 2018 at our annual awards ceremony in Toronto – this year held as part of the Canadian Writers’ Summit at the Harbourfront Centre – we were thrilled to honour the winners of six League of Canadian Poets awards: three book awards, one spoken word award, and two membership … [click for more]

EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: BETH GOOBIE

Saskatchewan Arts Board Writing Grant by Beth Goobie   – from breathing at dusk by Beth Goobie, shortlisted for the 2018 Pat Lowther Memorial Award Coteau Books | 2017| 104 Page | $17.95 | Purchase online – Beth Goobie is the author of 25 books. breathing at dusk is her third … [click for more]

REVIEW: A GENEROUS LATITUDE | BY LENEA GRACE

ECW Press | 2018 | 88 Page | $18.95 | Purchase online Review by M.A. Mahadeo – Lenea Grace’s debut poetry collection A Generous Latitude is an intertwined tale of human interaction, love, loss, and the need for connection. Language transcends literal meaning to reflect today’s dating culture, I found … [click for more]

EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: SUSAN ELMSLIE

    Trigger Warning by Susan Elmslie The sun was shining outside or it was raining. There were windows but none of them opened. I was wearing clothes but I was naked, that first day back in the classroom after the shooting. The next story we were scheduled to read … [click for more]

THE SHORTLIST IN CONVERSATION | SUSAN ELMSLIE AND BETH GOOBIE

Our conversation happened over a couple of weeks between year-end concerts (Beth plays percussion), end-of-term busyness (Sue’s a CEGEP teacher), grocery shopping (Beth), tending to sick kids (Sue). Both of us enjoyed the process. And both of us are very much looking forward to reading the other’s shortlisted book. BETH … [click for more]

ASK A SHORTLISTER: WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?

We asked the poets shortlisted for our 2018 Book Awards some questions about their writing lives, inspirations and -of course – poetry. Join us for our weekly series Ask a Shortlister until the winners are announced on June 16, 2018. What keeps you going as a writer? Billy-Ray Belcourt: Now, I write for at least … [click for more]

EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: MARY DI MICHELE

    Scotopia by Mary di Michele Beacon shining from the top of Mount Royal, a cross, unblinking under Capricorn. Beaver Lake is iced over. The ring in his pocket stays in his pocket. In the shadow of the red-tailed hawk, what’s left of a crow is now just tail … [click for more]

EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: LESLEY BELLEAU

  Milkweed by Lesley Belleau Somehow the feasting attached itself to our bodies gnawing against each others hungry corners. Your tongue birchbark sliding my back against the earth your shoulders half hiding the moonsmile and our breaths are crawling like broken weavings in and out of each other. Isn’t firelight … [click for more]

EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: PHOEBE WANG

    Permanent Status by Phoebe Wang I wake like a convalescent in an exemplary country naked between cloudy IKEA sheets and a duvet packed with goose feathers. I know a blanket of snow has been pulled over the world because I felt the weight of it like a benediction … [click for more]

THE WRITING PARENT: THE FIRST EDIT

Column by Vanessa Shields I know there are many of us who are writers and parents. This is a wild duality to live. My intention with this column is to write about the challenges of being a parent and a writer. I aim to share stories that reflect both the difficult … [click for more]

ASK A SHORTLISTER: WHAT ARE YOU READING?

We asked the poets shortlisted for our 2018 Book Awards some questions about their writing lives, inspirations and -of course – poetry. Join us for our weekly series Ask a Shortlister until the winners are announced on June 16, 2018. What are you currently reading? Billy-Ray Belcourt: I just read NOT HERE, Hieu Minh Nguyen’s … [click for more]

EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: JULIE PAUL

HONDA CB-750 by Julie Paul At the crossroads of the crotch begins the vulval buzz: ten thousand bees, lips on a trumpet. Together we ride the road that tempts the sea to rise; leather to leather we lean through every curve together – your shoulder dips and machinery follows. Behind … [click for more]

ASK A SHORTLISTER: KAIE KELLOUGH

Kaie Kellough is one of three finalists for the 2018 Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award. This 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 … [click for more]

ASK A SHORTLISTER: IAN KETEKU

Ian Keteku is one of three finalists for the 2018 Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award. This 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 … [click for more]

GET TO KNOW THE SHORTLIST: SUSAN ELMSLIE

FROM “POETRY CURE: MUSEUM OF KINDNESS BY SUSAN ELMSLIE” ON ALL LIT UP Museum of Kindness is a collection of poems that register that symbolic lack in various ways, sometimes by offering as counterpoint the vulnerability that is at some level kin to kindness. The book is structured in four sections … [click for more]

ASK A SHORTLISTER: INFLUENCES

We asked the poets shortlisted for our 2018 Book Awards some questions about their writing lives, inspirations and -of course – poetry. Join us for our weekly series Ask a Shortlister until the winners are announced on June 16, 2018. Is there a single piece of writing that has informed you (as a writer, … [click for more]

EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: WENDY DONAWA

KitKats for the Blessed by Wendy Donawa My beloved lives down the river valley edged by escarpments wild above wolf willows and golfclub condos. .           Occasionally her neighbour’s garage opens .           to an Aladdin’s cave of pastel Rubbermaids .        … [click for more]

VANCOUVER’S NEWEST POET LAUREATE

>>From the Vancouver Sun’s article “Musqueam rapper Christie Charles named Vancouver’s poet laureate”: “It’s a really monumental thing for me. I’m super-excited and honoured to stand up and champion not just my work, but a lot of local First Nations, from Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh, and also urban Indigenous poets,” … [click for more]

ASK A SHORTLISTER: Can you describe your writing practice?

We asked the poets shortlisted for our 2018 Book Awards some questions about their writing lives, inspirations and -of course – poetry. Join us for our weekly series Ask a Shortlister until the winners are announced on June 16, 2018. DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU’VE FOUND A WRITING PRACTICE THAT WORKS FOR YOU? IF … [click for more]

FRESH VOICES: CHRISTEN THOMAS, M.A. MAHADEO, MICHAEL QUILTY

Welcome to the eleventh edition of Fresh Voices, a project from and for the League’s associate members. The League’s associate members are talented poets who are writing and publishing poetry on their way to becoming established professional poets in the Canadian literary community. We are excited to be taking this opportunity … [click for more]

EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: CANISIA LUBRIN

  That Instrument of Laughter by Canisia Lubrin Nowadays I like to say cool cool cool thrashing my tongue like iguana before even a li’l wind ruffle my branch. Because that was the dark, that was the dark between my lips, saying nothing beyond the resolute, so I forlorn, cool? … [click for more]

GET TO KNOW THE SHORTLIST: MARY DI MICHELE

FROM “BICYCLE THIEVES: AN INTERVIEW WITH MARY DI MICHELE” BY NATHANIEL G. MOORE FOR PRISM INTERNATIONAL Was “Life Sentences” always going to go up to 100 verses? How did that poem evolve during the process of completing Bicycle Thieves? For me, the poem was a page-turner, something readers of poetry don’t … [click for more]

EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: BENJAMIN HERTWIG

    Night Convoy, Kandahar by Benjamin Hertwig you pitch past market .   stalls backlit like nativity grottos .   in prairie catholic churches where men in bare .   feet knead flour into naan .   share tea the news of the day swerve around .   skitter of dogs garbage and meatsmoke … [click for more]

REVIEW: THE PANIC ROOM | BY REBECCA PAPUCARU

Nightwood Editions | 2017 | 96 Page | $18.95 | Purchase online The Prodigal Daughter’s Return to Memory: Review by Diana Manole Our shared Romanian cultural background has instantly attracted me to The Panic Room (Nightwood Editions, 2017), Rebbeca Păpucaru’s debut collection of poems. I was keen to find out … [click for more]

EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: KAREN ENNS

    White Flag by Karen Enns Our lives are dreamlike and ungrounded. What we thought we understood is left behind in yellowed newsprint on the seats of trains and buses, in the cellars of old houses with uneven roofs. What do we know of the solid calculations of our … [click for more]

EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: PUNEET DUTT

Wild State by Puneet Dutt “…understand yourself as rendered hypervisible in the face of such language acts.” -Claudia Rankine when you lasso    voice down from a country rope burns the flesh mother or the grandfather die dirty words hang with friends in backseats when it forks at school where … [click for more]

EXCERPTS FROM THE SHORTLIST: BILLY-RAY BELCOURT

THE CREATOR IS TRANS by Billy-Ray Belcourt the creator is trans and the earth is a psychology experiment to determine how quickly we mistake a body for anything but a crime scene the product of older crime scenes. there is a heaven and it is a place called gay. gay … [click for more]

TWUC’S ADVOCACY ALERT: HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED

This is your chance to tell your story face-to-face with the MPs reviewing the Copyright Act.   From The Writer’s Union of Canada: The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology announced today it will hold formal hearings and public, open-mic sessions for the statutory review of the Copyright Act … [click for more]

2018 BOOK AWARDS: SHORTLIST ANNOUNCEMENTS

The League of Canadian Poets proudly presents the 2018 Book Awards shortlists for the Gerald Lampert and Pat Lowther Memorial Awards, the Raymond Souster Award and, together with the Calgary Spoken Word Society, the finalists for the 2018 Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award. The winners will be announced in Toronto … [click for more]

#NPM18: WEEKLY ROUND-UP | WEEK FOUR

Overwhelmed by all the amazing National Poetry Month content coming out every day? Need a refresher? We’ll be rounding up our blog content, along with the awesome stuff our friends at All Lit Up, 49th Shelf, and CBC Books are releasing – plus other NPM news that catches our eye each week; all month long. – … [click for more]

#NPM18: CANADIAN INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE DAY

To celebrate Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, we’re sharing some of the awesome National Poetry Month displays installed in independent bookstores all across Canada that we’ve seen on social media this month. Click the photo to visit the bookseller’s website. Thanks to each and every small bookstore that makes a space … [click for more]

#NPM18: JOIN THE LEAGUE

Thinking of joining the League? Now is a great time to apply! Our membership year starts in April, making National Poetry Month the perfect launch point to maximize the benefits we offer. Prospective members make note: there’s still time to apply for support from our funding programs. Another great reason … [click for more]

#NPM18: TODAY IS POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY!

Today, April 26, 2018, we’re celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day – and we hope you’ll join us! On this day, select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, street corners, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem. – … [click for more]

ANNOUNCING CALGARY’S NEW POET LAUREATE

>> From the Alberta Foundation for the Arts’ article, “Sheri-D Wilson named Calgary Poet Laureate”: “As poets speak so they listen—poets listen through the ideas that arrive and arise from the earth and through community eyes. Calgary, Mohkínstsis, the place where two rivers meet—is an epicentre of poetry and spoken … [click for more]

#NPM18: LA POÉSIE PARTOUT | GUEST POST BY JONATHAN LAMY

de diffusion, de médiation et de dissémination de la poésie For the English translation of this article, click here. La poésie peut être faite partout, avoir lieu n’importe où. Voilà le principe fondateur de La poésie partout, un organisme à but non lucratif mis sur pied à Montréal en janvier 2017, … [click for more]

#NPM18: WEEKLY ROUND-UP | WEEK THREE

Overwhelmed by all the amazing National Poetry Month content coming out every day? Need a refresher? We’ll be rounding up our blog content, along with the awesome stuff our friends at Open Book, All Lit Up, 49th Shelf, and CBC Books are releasing – plus other NPM news that catches our eye each week; all month long. … [click for more]

#NPM18: WEEKLY ROUND-UP | WEEK TWO

Overwhelmed by all the amazing National Poetry Month content coming out every day? Need a refresher? We’ll be rounding up our blog content, along with the awesome stuff our friends at Open Book, All Lit Up, 49th Shelf, and CBC Books are releasing – plus other NPM news that catches our eye each week; all month long. … [click for more]

#NPM18: 10 WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR FAVOURITE POETS

At the League, we work hard to support poets by administering programs and funds for governments and private donors and encouraging an appreciative readership and audience for poetry through educational partnerships and presentations to diverse groups. As the recognized voice of Canadian poets, we represent their concerns to governments, publishers, and the … [click for more]

#NPM18: THE GRIFFIN POETRY PRIZE SHORTLIST ANNOUNCEMENT

The reveal of the Griffin Poetry Prize shortlist is a significant date on the calendars of all those interested in Canadian poetry; it is the world’s largest prize for a first edition single collection of poetry written in English. Candidates are shortlisted in two categories: Canadian and International. The shortlist was released today, … [click for more]

2018 JESSAMY STURSBERG POETRY PRIZE

Congratulations to all the winners of our 2018 Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize! We were blown away by the plentiful submissions we received this year, and we’re so excited to have the six winning poems published right here on our website. Get to know our winning poets a little better by reading their … [click for more]

STEPHANIE CHANG: BURIAL

  Burial  by Stephanie Chang, grade 10   The morning sickness loved me in this way:diaphanous heart shuddering in the grocery store,in the reservoir at 6AM. I leave you in the rain    where you told me to. I leave a pistol pressedto the corner of a New England sky or any place  you will find and decay in for centuries:    luminous until nothing is. … [click for more]

MELANIE THOMPSON: MARCUS

    Marcus by Melanie Thompson, grade 12 “There is lipstick smeared across my mirror. I have crushed so many tubes that I am left with a palette of shades of pink, orange, and red; a myriad of feminine torment. There are still strands of hair woven in my carpet … [click for more]

AMINAH ATTAR: ILLUSIVE

  Illusive by Aminah Attar, grade 12   An eloquent sari drapes my grandmother’s back; her navel Glazen golden brown Like the sun   behind her curtain lay scars tinged red and pink and; Golden brown she smiles   He hits Her.   How can I embrace where I come … [click for more]

STEPHANIE CUI: DAWN

    Dawn  by Stephanie Cui, grade 8   Out in the moonlight   The trees are glowing white.  They are fully dressed and await the wind’s call.     But the wind is a shy girl at four in the morning,   And she does not come out to play.  Dawn slowly … [click for more]

CONNIE XIE: A TREE’S LIFE

  A Tree’s Life  by Connie Xie, grade 9 We were once fishermen, and lived in this bay.  The strong winds remind us of the days we went out to sea.  Sailing day and night. Down here by the bay,  each season comes with its own gift,  and each gift … [click for more]

#NPM18: WEEKLY ROUND-UP | WEEK ONE

Overwhelmed by all the amazing National Poetry Month content coming out every day? Need a refresher? We’ll be rounding up our blog content, along with the awesome stuff our friends at Open Book, All Lit Up, 49th Shelf, and CBC Books are releasing – plus other NPM news that catches our eye … [click for more]

#NPM18: DONATION DRIVE

  Your donations allow us to fund more projects – AKA more poetry – at the League! For a donation of $20 any time during the month of April, we’ll mail you a 2018 National Poetry Month Poster, designed by Megan Fildes. We are so thankful for the support we receive … [click for more]

MANUSCRIPT READERS

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 at all stages in their careers, and we are proud of the valuable network of writers this has created. Several of our … [click for more]

#NPM18: INTERVIEW WITH LEAH MACLEAN-EVANS

  League member Leah MacLean-Evans lives on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people. She’s the 2017 fiction winner of the Blodwyn Memorial Prize. Her writing has appeared in Qwerty, untethered, Ottawater, On Spec Magazine, and elsewhere. She has an MFA in Writing from the University of Saskatchewan and is the proofreader of Grain Magazine.  We spoke with Leah  – the winner of … [click for more]

2018 NATIONAL BROADSHEET CONTEST WINNER: LEAH MACLEAN-EVANS

We are thrilled to reveal the winner of the League’s second annual National Broadsheet Contest: Leah MacLean-Evans! Her winning poem Name Me After a Fish was selected by this year’s judge and the winner of  last year’s inaugural contest, Doyali Islam for its “subtle vulnerabilities and playful humour.”       … [click for more]