Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award

for excellence and innovation in spoken word poetry.

The Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award is an annual literary prize crafted specifically to highlight the unique strengths and values of spoken word poetry. Spoken word poets at all stages of their artistic development – rising and established – are encouraged to submit a micro-portfolio to be reviewed by a panel of three established spoken word artists for a chance at the grand prize of $2000. The #GoldenBeretAward is open for submissions from members and non-members! 

With this prize, the League is excited to be focusing on spoken word poetry—including dub poetry, sound poetry, and slam poetry, among many other subgenres—and it’s rich and powerful history that has grown to take the international stage by storm. This prize will not be awarded for the best submitted poem, but to the poet whose micro-portfolio has the greatest impact on the panel of jurors. 

Submission are now closed. The winner of the 2019 Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award will be announced in June 2019 at our Annual General Meeting.

The jurors for this year’s award are Dwayne Morgan, Kevan Anthony Cameron (aka Scruffmouth), and Sheri-D Wilson!

The Golden Beret Award was founded by Sheri-D Wilson and the Calgary Spoken Word Society. Formerly a lifetime achievement award, past iterations have honoured a Canadian spoken word artist who made substantial contributions to the development of spoken word, through the originality of their writing/performance works and involvement in the expansion of the spoken word community.

The winner of the 2018 Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award is Dwayne Morgan!

Dubbed by his peers as “The Godfather of Spoken Word,” Dwayne Morgan has been a spoken word community-builder for years. He tours schools and communities extensively, and with support from the York Region District School Board, he created Ontario’s first school poetry slam league! In 2016, Dwayne was a finalist for the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and he was also the recipient of the African Canadian Achievement Award. For his extensive community work and achievements, Morgan was also inducted into the Scarborough Walk of Fame.

Watch some of Dwayne’s performances here.



Previous Recipients:

2017 – d’bi.young anitafrika (Toronto, ON)
– RC Weslowski (Vancouver, BC)
– Penn Kemp (London, ON)
– bill bissett (Toronto, ON)
2013 – Tanya Evanson (Vancouver, BC)
2012 – Kirk Miles (Calgary, AB)
2011 – Ian Ferrier (Montréal, QC)
2010 – Wendy Morton (Victoria,BC)
2009 – Lillian Allen (Toronto, ON)
2008 – Sarah Murphy (Calgary, AB)
2007 – Murdoch Burnett (Comox, BC)