#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]

#NPM18: POETS LAUREATE

This year, Canada named a new parliamentary poet laureate, Georgette LeBlanc! LeBlanc is from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec and writes poetry in the French language. Her published works include Alma (2007), Amédé (2010), Prudent (2013) (finalist for the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry), and most recently, Le Grand Feu (2016), published by Éditions Perce-Neige, where she edits the … [click for more]

REVIEW: THIS WOUND IS A WORLD | BY BILLY-RAY BELCOURT

Frontenac House | 2017 | 64 Page | $19.95 | Purchase online Reviewed by Hannah Karpinski on Lemonhound 3.0: Belcourt’s body, which has been subject to marginalizing inscriptions against both queerness and Indigeneity, tethers him to a world in which “native means lonely and lonely feels a lot like dying.” He … [click for more]

20 YEARS OF NATIONAL POETRY MONTH IN CANADA

In case you didn’t already know, April is the League’s favourite time of year! It’s National Poetry Month, and this year is extra special because we get to celebrate its twentieth anniversary! Established in Canada in April 1998 by the League of Canadian Poets, NPM brings together schools, publishers, booksellers, literary … [click for more]

REVIEW: POETRY THAT HEALS | BY NAOMI BETH WAKAN

Shanti Arts Publishing | 2017 | 104 Page | $18.95 | Purchase online Review by Terry Ann Carter Naomi Wakan’s poetry journey Poetry That Heals begins in her “middle years” with a two year stay in Japan. As she began to translate a Japanese friend’s book of haiku into English (with … [click for more]

#NPM18: THE AL PURDY A-FRAME ASSOCIATION

We are proud to have the Al Purdy A-Frame Association join us on our National Poetry Month 2018 blog; after-all, Al Purdy (1918-2000) was a prolific Canadian poet and a founding member of the League of Canadian Poets! “Although he cherished the idea of being a writer from age 13, … [click for more]

THE WRITING PARENT: ON FOOD & COOKING

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]

2018 BOOK AWARDS: LONGLIST ANNOUNCEMENTS

This year, the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month, we are beyond excited to announce the finalists for our book awards… in longlists – for the first time ever! We receive so many spectacular submissions each and every year and longlists give us yet another opportunity to share more incredible … [click for more]

FRESH VOICES: MARIA FIGUEREDO, LINDA CROSFIELD, KAMAL PARMER

Welcome to the tenth 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]

REVIEW: OUT OF PLACE | BY KATE ROGERS

Aeolus House | 2017 | 65 Page | $20.00 | Purchase online Review by Lisa Richter “How I Was Invented”: Belonging and (Dis)placement in Kate Rogers’ Out of Place Place is a difficult subject to write about. With more obscure or esoteric subjects, poets can maintain a safe emotional distance, … [click for more]

REVIEW: TABLE MANNERS | BY CATRIONA WRIGHT

Signal Editions | 2017 | 88 Page | $17.95 | Purchase online Reviewed by Julie Mannell on Vallum: Contemporary Poetry: It might be a stretch to call Wright’s poetry anti-Whitman because it seems both poets are driven by the urge to connect the body with the external world to show the … [click for more]

REVIEW: SIREN | BY KATERI LANTHIER

Signal Editions | 2017 | 80 Page | $17.95 | Purchase online Reviewed by Hannah Brown on Toronto Review of Books: In this collection, the poet delivers rich combinations of imagery, much of it urban, and often at night, as in one of the most startling poems, “Guanyin Lamp.”  Here … [click for more]

THE WRITING PARENT: WRITING PROMPTS

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 … [click for more]

FRESH VOICES: MELANIE FLORES, KJMUNRO, DAVID BRYDGES

Welcome to the ninth 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]

2017 LECTURER: MARILYN DUMONT ON TOUR

  The Anne Szumigalski Lecture, inspired by the Margaret Laurence lecture series, is a talk which takes place annually at the League’s conference. These lectures create space for poets to stage conversations about poetry – about their craft and what poetry has meant to them, to their lives, their communities, their … [click for more]

2018 NATIONAL HAIKU CONTEST WINNER: JACQUIE PEARCE

Congratulations to Jacquie Pearce, the winner of our inaugural National Haiku Contest! Our guest jurors Terry Ann Carter and Naomi Beth Wakan selected two haiku by Jacquie Pearce as co-winning poems of the inaugural contest — the most delightful part of this? All 500+ haiku we received were judged blind … [click for more]

REVIEW: MAUNDER | BY CLAIRE KELLY

Palimpsest Press | 2017 | 72 Page | $18.95 | Purchase online Reviewed by Karen Hofmann on Prairie Fire:   “Maunder” is a pejorative term for meandering speech. In this grudging landscape, where everything should have a pragmatic, immediate purpose, to maunder is to go against the grain or flow, at … [click for more]

REVIEW: TRAILER PARK ELEGY | BY CORNELIA HOOGLAND

Harbour Publishing | 2017 | 88 Page | $18.95 | Purchase online Review by Vanessa Shields – Hoogland’s Trailer Park Elegy, a long poem, is a lament that skids down literal and metaphorical roads of memory and grief, shock and love, and pain and forgiveness. It moves jarringly between the present and … [click for more]

FRESH VOICES: KARIN COPE, NAN WILLIAMSON, BARBARA BLACK

Welcome to the eighth 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 … [click for more]

10 MUST-READ BOOKS OF 2017

It’s that time of year: the round-up time of year. And of course we’re more than happy to jump on the bandwagon to round up a few of 2017’s most notable poetry collections! Below you’ll find 10 books by or selected by Leaguers as some of their favourite books read … [click for more]

2017 LCP CHALLENGE: THE TALLY

It’s been a busy year for us here at the League, full of exciting changes and new programming, but it’s never too busy to read! At the end of last year, we set up a poetry reading challenge that would challenge readers to step outside their comfort zones and diversify … [click for more]

THE WRITING PARENT: KIDS AND READINGS

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 … [click for more]

REVIEW: VOODOO HYPOTHESIS | BY CANISIA LUBRIN

Reviewed by Geoffrey Morrison on Debutantes: Lubrin’s book is about the dislocated psychogeography wrought by that history, working through the displacements of the African-Caribbean diaspora from her birthplace of St. Lucia in the Windward Antilles to the United States and “that cold Victorian country” of Canada to the outermost fringes … [click for more]

REVIEW: WINNOWS | BY MAXIANNE BERGER

Imago Press | 2016 Review by kjmunro — To winnow is to separate the wheat from the chaff, & in Winnows we find a series of erasure poems mined from Melville’s Moby Dick. These poems come from the novel, but do not tell the same story. At the beginning of … [click for more]

FRESH VOICES: TONY VALUCH, GREG STIDHAM, TONY BRATHWAITE

Welcome to the seventh 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 … [click for more]

REVIEW: FRIENDLY + FIRE | BY DANIELLE LAFRANCE

Talonbooks | 2017 | 128 Page | $18.95 | Purchase online Review by Cam Scott — Friendly + Fire is a capella pornography, a multi-vocal argument concerning the collateral damages attendant upon military aggression, where the exceptional conditions definitive of combat suffuse an everyday civic. “Honey, it’s not your ginch, … [click for more]

REVIEW: THE CHEMICAL LIFE | BY JIM JOHNSTONE

Reviewed by Chad Campbell in The Manchester Review: …In the corridors of these nested worlds we glimpse, like the wheel on the wall, the slow crash and delayed impact of addiction and mental illness across the sections of The Chemical Life. Divided into 5 sections of 6 poems each (the … [click for more]

BRIAR CRAIG: ON THE CREATION OF A BROADSHEET

Briar Craig, an artist and printmaker working at the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus, generously donated his time and talent to create the artisan broadsheets of “cat and door” by Doyali Islam, the winner of our inaugural broadsheet contest.  As we approach the December 1 deadline of the contest … [click for more]

REVIEW: COMMA | BY JENNIFER STILL

BookThug | May 2017 | 164 pages | $20.00 | Purchase online Review by Cam Scott — Jennifer Still’s latest is a tender document of writing-through: through a traumatic family episode, and through the text of another, foregrounding the bodily saliency of each. In the meticulous title sequence, ‘comma’ denoting … [click for more]

THE WRITING PARENT: SOLITUDE

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 … [click for more]

REVIEW: PETALS IN THE DARK | ED. MARSHALL HRYCIUK

Catkin Press | 76 pages Review by kjmunro — Renku is a form of collaborative linked verse poetry, with the emphasis on collaboration. Fifteen from renku master Marshall Hryciuk are included here. What was the selection process for this book? How were these poems chosen? How many more poems are … [click for more]

KILLING MYSELF LAUGHING IN THE ELIGIAC LONG POEM

Killing Myself Laughing in the Elegiac Long Poem by Cornelia Hoogland (originally published in ST@NZA 14.3) Louise Glück was funny in Meadowlands, but she’s funnier still in her latest book of poetry, Faithful and Victorious Night. In a poem titled Approach of the Horizon, the male narrator (an elderly visual … [click for more]

REVIEW: VIOLET ENERGY INGOTS | BY HOA NGUYEN

Wave Books | September 2016 | $18.00 | Purchase online Review by Cam Scott — Opaquely personal, spare but social, Hoa Nguyen’s writing more than most fulfills Louis Zukofsky’s mandate of a poetry arranging “minor units of sincerity” into shaped apprehension. Nguyen’s verse flits and fidgets by the phrase, conveying … [click for more]

THE WRITING PARENT: VULNERABILITY

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 … [click for more]

REVIEW: I HAVE TO LIVE | BY AISHA SASHA JOHN

McClelland & Stewart | April 2017 | 160 pages | $16.95 | Purchase online Review by Cam Scott — Aisha Sasha’s John’s third full-length book of poems begins at the beginning, as it were, with a salutation: The first knowledge is of our ignorance. Hi. (3) What follows is a … [click for more]

CALL TO ARTISTS: CANADIAN FORCES ARTISTS PROGRAM

  Deadline 30 November 2017 The Department of National Defence invites proposals from artists to participate in the Canadian Forces Artists Program (CFAP). The goal of the program is to encourage artists to learn more about our men and women in uniform. Canadian artists have long played a vital role … [click for more]

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: ANTHOLOGY EDITED BY PRISCILA UPPAL

CALL FOR POETRY SUBMISSIONS FOR ANTHOLOGY ANOTHER DYSFUNCTIONAL CANCER POEM ANTHOLOGY TO BE PUBLISHED BY MANSFIELD PRESS FALL 2018 EDITED BY PRISCILA UPPAL Current statistics predict 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. We need more art to understand the complexity and dimensions of what … [click for more]

REVIEW: SILENT SISTER | BY BETH EVEREST

Frontenac House | 2016 | 116 page | $15.95 | Purchase online Review by Sue Bracken — silent sister: the mastectomy poems is a poetic journal of one woman’s particular detour in life, and it is an act of bravery in the telling. True to her moniker, Beth Everest has … [click for more]

REVIEW: BARBARIC CULTURAL PRACTICE | BY PENN KEMP

Quattro Books | October 2016 | $18.00 | Purchase online Review by Kate Rogers — The title of Penn Kemp’s most recent poetry collection reflects her urgent activist response to government announcements she thought could undermine Canadian diversity.  As they campaigned to hold onto power in 2015, the Harper Conservatives … [click for more]

REVIEW: BIG MEDICINE COMES TO ERIE | BY D.A. LOCKHART

Black Moss Press | 84 pages | $17.00 | October 2016 | Purchase online Review by Kim Fahner — D.A. Lockhart’s first collection of poems, published under the umbrella of Black Moss’s “First Lines” poetry series, evokes a sense of place and history that reflects the landscape of southwestern Ontario. … [click for more]

REVIEW: LOOKING FOR LIGHT | BY SUSAN IOANNOU

Hidden Brook Press | 83 pages | April 2016 | $19.95 | Purchase online Review by John B. Lee __ Riddle Me This: Hypophora and the question as a device is the poetry of Susan Ioannou For his part, People’s Poet Chris Faiers writes in praise of Susan Ioannou in … [click for more]

FEDERAL COURT FINDS IN FAVOUR OF WRITERS’ RIGHTS

>> From the Writers’ Union of Canada Access Copyright Wins Against York University and Widely Used Copying Guidelines July 13, 2017 — The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is very pleased with the Federal Court decision released on July 12 in the matter of Access Copyright v. York University. The … [click for more]

CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: 2018 FEMINIST CAUCUS PANEL

The Feminist Caucus panel at the 2018 annual conference will consist of pairs of older and younger members who strongly resonate with the term “feminist.” In addition to participating on the panel in Toronto in June, participants will contribute a written response in any combination of poetry, essay, or art, … [click for more]

2017 AWARD WINNERS

On Saturday, June 10 at our annual awards ceremony in Toronto, we were thrilled to honour the winners of seven League of Canadian Poets awards: three book awards, one spoken word award, two membership awards, and an award for outstanding volunteer contributions. Sheri-D Wilson joined us from Alberta to host … [click for more]

SUMMER READING LIST: AWARDS

The sun is out, the beach is warm, the parks are full — it’s time to bust out your summer reading list! We truly believe that poetry makes an excellent beach read, so our first batch of summer recommendations are the 18 incredible books shortlisted for our awards. 100 Days … [click for more]

MEET THE SHORTLIST: BÄNOO ZAN

Bänoo Zan’s book Songs of Exile is shortlisted for our 2017 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award! As we near the awards ceremony where the winner will be announced, we wanted to take some time to meet the shortlisted poets and find out more about what inspired their most recent poetry collections. … [click for more]

REVIEW: ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS | BY PHOEBE WANG

>>From The Wilds, week 18; review by Terry Abrahams Bodies are difficult. Bodies of work often more so. Phoebe Wang’s debut collection of poetry follows several bodies—her own, her family members’, plants, animals, rivers, lakes, buildings—and asks them all a pertinent question: what does it mean to be admitted? Welcomed? … [click for more]

FRESH VOICES: SUE SORENSEN, CAROL STEEL, CAROL STEPHEN

Welcome to the third 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 … [click for more]

REVIEW: THE WAKING COMES LATE | BY STEVEN HEIGHTON

>>From Arc Poetry Magazine, Chris Doda reviews Steven Heighton’s The Waking Comes Late (shortlisted for the 2017 Raymond Souster Award) House of Anansi Press | $19.95 | 128 pages | purchase online In the­se excel­lent poems, Heighton shows how tech­ni­cal mas­tery can merge with acute­ly rel­e­vant sub­ject mat­ter to great … [click for more]

REVIEW: OTOLITH | BY EMILY NILSEN

>>From the Hamilton Review of Books, Canisia Lubrin reviews Emily Nilsen’s Otolith Icehouse Poetry / Goose Lane Editions | $19.95 | 96 pages | purchase online Otolith, Emily Nilsen’s new pastoral, wakes deep in the ear and channels the reader through the speaker’s multifarious experiences of grief, loss, the burden … [click for more]

REVIEW: BAD IDEAS | BY MICHAEL V. SMITH

>>From a review published in The Province: Mark Abbot reviews Michael V. Smith’s new poetry collection, Bad Ideas. Nightwood Editions | $18.95 | 96 pages | purchase online Michael V. Smith is a multi-talented novelist, poet and performance artist whose work has always been expressive and honest. His first poetry … [click for more]

MISSISSAUGA WELCOMES NEW POET LAUREATE

>> From the Toronto Star article, “From troubled Mississauga teen to poet laureate” Poetry changed Wali Shah’s life and as the new poet laureate for Mississauga he is hoping he can help other young people with their personal struggles. Shah, 22, still remembers delivering his first spoken poem — in … [click for more]

MEET THE SHORTLIST: LOUISE BERNICE HALFE

Louise Bernice Halfe’s book Burning in This Midnight Dream is shortlisted for our 2017 Raymond Souster Award! As we near the awards ceremony where the winner will be announced, we wanted to take some time to meet the shortlisted poets and find out more about what inspired their most recent … [click for more]

NPM17: THAT’S A WRAP

Every year it feels like there are more and more exciting goings-on for National Poetry Month, and 30 days is just not enough time to celebrate them all! Here are a few highlights from April, including awards announcements, fun articles about the benefits of reading poetry, and much more! If … [click for more]

POETS RESIST: NPM ON ALU, FINAL STRETCH

This content has been provided by All Lit Up, an online bookstore and blog run by the Literary Press Group for readers of emerging, quirky, and unabashedly Canadian literature by some of Canada’s finest independent publishers. One final, tremendous thanks to the great folks over at All Lit Up who … [click for more]

NPM AND BEYOND: RECOMMENDATIONS

And just like that, National Poetry Month is nearly over — our hearts are heavy, and our to-read lists grew as much as they shrank this April. In our last NPM and Beyond! blog post, we wanted to chat with some of our shortlisted authors about their reading habits and … [click for more]