2023 Book Awards: Meet the Jurors!

The League of Canadian Poets is honoured to have the following poets as the jurors for our 2023 Book Awards! Thank you for all your hard work and careful reading of the incredible poetry released last year.

The Longlists for the 2023 Book Awards will be announced on April 6, Shortlists on April 20, and Winners on May 4!

Learn more about LCP Awards

Meet the 2023 Pat Lowther Memorial Award Jurors

Thank you Jaclyn Desforges, Jody Chan and Elee Kraljii Gardiner!

“I feel so lucky to have been a part of the Pat Lowther Memorial Award jury, and to have had the opportunity to read and consider these books. I was struck by the emotional depth and intellectual rigour within the submissions, and it was such a joy to have illuminating conversations with my fellow jurors about these works. I’m emerging from this experience with some new favourite poets, as well as so much gratitude for the incredible poetry community we have here in Canada. I’m proud of the choices we made as a jury, and delighted to contribute to the recognition and celebration of these talented writers.”

Jaclyn Desforges

This field of poetry books indicates CanPo is thriving. The jury for the Pat Lowther read testimony, experimental verse, lyric narrative, prose poems, haibuns, historically-informed, and many more forms and approaches in poetry. I was struck by the level of socio-political engagement and analysis in these titles and am grateful to have spent many months soaking up the lines and ideas of these talented authors. While it was difficult to rank title against title at home on my own, our jury had a fruitful and interesting process that was one of the smoothest I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of in this capacity. Special thanks to the administrators and Ashley-Elizabeth Best for the organization and communication that helped us function so neatly. I truly feel the reading for this award might merit as sort of Canadian Literature Degree of Letters given the scope of submissions, all the more impressive given the tough years leading up to the publication dates. I feel a certain kinship with these books for having read them for such a momentous event. Congratulations to all the poets for their accomplishments! Thank you for having me as a juror.

Elee Kraljii Gardiner

Meet the 2023 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award Jurors

Thank you Jannie Edwards, Alvy Carragher and Greg Santos!

“Reading these books and trying to choose winners was a complicated process that involved some rich debate (both internally and with the other jurors). There were books that didn’t make the longlist that were beautiful, important pieces of work. Prizes are tricky and I felt reading the wealth of books submitted, that on any given day, a different book might win. That being said, I am proud of the selection we made, and believe each of these poets has created a book that more people should read. I look forward to reading what comes next from each of them.”

Alvy Carragher

“What an incredible honour it was to be a juror for the 2023 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for a debut book of poetry. I was in awe of the high quality and diversity of poetry collections being considered for this prize. Alongside my fellow Lampert jurors, reading through this dazzling constellation of books was a daunting but ultimately rewarding experience.”

Greg Santos

Meet the 2023 Raymond Souster Award Jurors

Thank you MLA Chernoff, Marjorie Bruhmuller and Evan J!

“Jurying the Raymond Souster Award was not only challenging because of the high caliber of submissions, but also, the diversity and complexity of the poetics. It was so interesting to hear the voices of Canadian poets from across the country. And I applaud my co-jurors for their humour, patience and intelligent comments.”

Marjorie Bruhmuller

Juror biographies

Marjorie Bruhmuller has worked as workshop leader, event organizer, editor, agent, graphic designer, and handmade haiku book artist. She was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s New Writer’s Short Story Contest (2002), and she won Third Prize in FreeFall’s Poetry Contest 2009, with two Honourable Mentions. Her story “Heritage” made it to the long list of Fish Publishing One Page Story Contest 2010, and she was a finalist in the First Annual AWA Pat Schneider Poetry Contest 2011, and Vellum’s Poetry Contest (2011). Her poems have appeared in Taproot, Grain, Event, Room, The Antigonish Review, Poetry Quebec, The Ottawa Arts Review, Carte Blanche, Vellum, The Centrifugal Eye, Haiku Canada Members Anthologies and Bottle Rockets. In the US: Orion, Other Voices, Nashwaak Review, The Poetry Project (Tupelo Press), THEMA, California Quarterly, Broad River Review, Willow Review, Sleet, and in The New Writer (UK), The Frogmore Papers, Under the Radar, The Criterion, and online. After writing The Bell You Hardly Hear, (Ekstasis Editions) a poetry collection, she published Back Porch Haiku, (Éditions des petit nuages) which won a Marianne Bluger Award. Marjorie was Poetry Editor for Shoreline Press and was on the executive of Haiku Canada. Included in Waterlines, in 2020, her poems were recently published in Emergence, Contemporary Women Poets of the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

Alvy Carragher is an Irish poet based in Toronto. She has published two books of poetry and a children’s novel. Her poetry has appeared in various anthologies, literary websites and publications such as The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, The Guardian, and The Galway Review. Her second poetry book “the men I keep under my bed” was published in 2021, and her debut collection of poetry, “Falling in love with broken things,” was published in 2016, both by Salmon Poetry. She’s also published a novel, and her work has been archived by the Irish Poetry Archive.

Jody Chan is a writer, drummer, organizer, and therapist based in Toronto/Tkaronto. They are the author of haunt (Damaged Goods Press), all our futures (PANK), and sick (Black Lawrence Press), winner of the 2018 St. Lawrence Book Award and 2021 Trillium Award for Poetry. They are also a performing member with RAW Taiko Drummers. They can be found online at www.jodychan.com.

MLA Chernoff is a poet, performance artist, meme enthusiast, and recovering academic. Their debut full-length poetry collection, [SQUELCH PROCEDURES], was released by Gordon Hill Press in Fall 2021. MLA is also the author of several chapbooks, including delet this (Bad Books, 2018), TERSE THIRSTY (Gap Riot Press, 2019), SCRIED FUNDAMENTS (above/ground press, 2022), and I’M LIKE THE GREAT GRANDCHILD OF MARX & COCA-COLA (BUT NON-BINEY). They hope you are having a real nice day xo xo

Jaclyn Desforges is the author of Danger Flower (Palimpsest Press/Anstruther Books), winner of the 2022 Hamilton Literary Award for Poetry and one of CBC’s picks for the best Canadian poetry of 2021. She’s also the author of Why Are You So Quiet? (Annick Press, 2020), which was shortlisted for a Chocolate Lily Award and selected for the 2023 TD Summer Reading Club. Jaclyn is a Pushcart-nominated writer and the winner of a 2022 City of Hamilton Creator Award, a 2020 Hamilton Emerging Artist Award for Writing, two 2019 Short Works Prizes, and the 2018 RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award. Jaclyn’s writing has been featured in literary magazines across Canada. She holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia’s School of Creative Writing and lives in Hamilton with her partner and daughter.

Jannie Edwards is a writer, editor, mentor and artistic collaborator who lives and works in Amiskwacîwâskahikan/Edmonton on Treaty 6 / Métis Region #4 lands.

From Manitoba, Evan J (he/they) has spent the last decade living in Toronto, Ottawa, and Sioux Lookout, Ontario. Evan’s first book, Ripping down half the trees, was published in 2021 with McGill-Queen’s University Press. Evan is also a previous winner of the Vallum Award for Poetry. Currently, Evan is the Fiction Editor for Cloud Lake Literary journal, the programming coordinator for the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, and a facilitator of writing workshops across Ontario and Manitoba for VSEAL’s Poetry for Our Future! program. When living in Toronto, Evan was an Editorial Assistant at Brick, A Literary Journal and the Director of Slackline Creative Arts Series. When living in Sioux Lookout, Evan taught poetry and 3D printing to Indigenous adults living in remote First Nations. Now residing in Winnipeg, Evan primarily writes fiction.

Elee Kraljii Gardiner is the author of the award-winning poetry collections Trauma Head and serpentine loop, and the anthologies Against Death: 35 Essays on Living and V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. A frequent collaborator with choreographers, musicians, and visual artists, Elee is currently collaborating with nature via a series of durational installations that investigate the law of thermodynamics and cultural ideas regarding the passing of time. She is active in community-based initiatives, such as her work as founder of Thursdays Writing Collective, for which she edited and published nine anthologies. Originally from Boston, Elee lives in Canada where she directs Vancouver Manuscript Intensive, a program pairing authors with mentors. eleekg.com

Greg Santos is a poet, editor, and educator. He is the author of Ghost Face (DC Books, 2020) and several other poetry collections. He regularly teaches creative writing workshops in partnership with various organizations. He is the Editor in Chief of the Quebec Writers’ Federation’s online literary journal, carte blanche. Santos lives in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal with his family.