2017 Life Members

Every year, the League is honoured to induct new Life Members into our ranks. Life Members are selected for their incredible contribution to poets and poetry in Canada, and the award is presented as a mark of distinction and appreciation for special achievements.

2017: Allan Briesmaster was honored with our life membership award, for his decades of work in supporting Canadian poets and his incredible contributions to the League and our members.

Allan is an editor, publisher, and literary consultant specializing in poetry and non-fiction. He lives in Thornhill, Ontario (just north of Toronto) with his wife Holly, a visual artist with whom he has collaborated several times on books which include her collages and pen-and-ink drawings.

In 1986-90 Allan led Phoenix, Toronto’s longest-running poetry workshop. He was one of the chief organizers of the weekly Art Bar Poetry Reading Series from 1991 until 2002: playing a central role as it grew into the largest series of its kind in Canada. As an editor, working with several literary presses, Allan has been instrumental in the production of more than 250 literary titles since 1998. From 2000 to 2008, he was the main literary editor for Seraphim Editions. His final project with Seraphim was to co-edit the 256-page anthology Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era. Allan started his own micro press, Aeolus House, in 2003. In 2006, he and three fellow writers founded Quattro Books. He retired from Quattro in 2017 and continues publishing limited-edition books and chapbooks with Aeolus House. He has read his poetry, led workshops and given talks on poetry, editing and publishing in venues across Canada as well as online.