Life Membership Award

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. Below is a full list of the League’s Life Members.

2023: Joanne Arnott and Clarice Foster

Joanne Arnott is a writer, editor, arts activist on the west coast. She’s published ten poetry books/chapbooks, among other titles, and edited a dozen volumes by others. Poetry Mentor (The Writers Studio), Poetry Editor (EVENT Magazine), and Shadbolt Fellow (2022). Joanne is a co-founding member of Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast.

Primarily publishing poetry and short nonfiction, Joanne studied creative writing in Windsor ON in the late 1970s/early 80s, at St Clair College with Phil Hall and University of Windsor with Peter Stevens, John Ditsky. Moving to the west coast, she studied with Beth Brant, Barb Kuhne, Maria Campbell and others, while raising a flock of young.

Born in Winnipeg in December 1960, Joanne grew up in urban and rural Manitoba, urban BC and urban ON. She has lived in the lower mainland of BC since 1981. She gave birth to and raised six young people, all born at home with midwives, now all adults. She makes her home with three of these young people and an aging cat, in Richmond BC.

2022: Rita Bouvier

Rita Bouvier is currently editing her fourth book of poetry to be released in the Spring of 2023. Rita’s draft manuscript, a beautiful rebellion, placed second for the 2021 SWG, John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Award. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals and anthologies, musicals and television productions, and has been translated into Spanish, German and Cree-Michif of her home community of sakitawak—Île-à-la-Crosse, situated on the historic trading and meeting grounds of Cree and Dene people.

2021: John Barton, Dionne Brand and George Elliott Clarke

2020: Louise Bernice Halfe

2019: No recipient

2018: Marilyn Dumont

2017: Allan Briesmaster

2016: Armand Garnet Ruffo

2015: Dennis Cooley

2014: Sheri-D Wilson

2013: Alice Major

2012: Penn Kemp

2011: Lorna Crozier

2011: Patrick Lane

2010: no recipient

2009: bill bissett

2008: Andy Suknaski (1942-2012)

2007: Margaret Atwood

2006: Francis Sparshott (1926-2015)

2005: George McWhirter

2004: M. Travis Lane

2002: Robert Kroetsch (1927-2011)

2001: George Amabile

2000: Earle Birney (1904-1995)

2000: Bernice Lever

1998: Glen Sorestad

1994: D.G. Jones (1929-2016)

1994: Douglas Lochhead (1922-2011)

1990: Elizabeth Gourlay (1917-2009)

1990: Anne Szumigalski (1922-1999)

1989: Phyllis Webb

1989: George Johnston (1913-2004)

1989: James Reaney (1926-2008)

1987: Anne Marriott (1913-1997)

1987: P.K. Page (1916-2010)

1986: Kay Smith (1911-2004)

1984: Elizabeth Brewster (1922-2012)

1984: Maria Jacobs

1983: Sam Simchovitch

1982: Fred Cogswell (1917-2004)

1981: Raymond Souster (1921-2012)

1981: R.G. Everson (1903-1992)

1981: Dorothy Livesay (1909-1996)

Robert Gibbs

Heather Spears

Alfred Bailey (1905-1997)

George Faludy (1910-2006)

R.A.D. Ford (1915-1998)

Ralph Gustafson (1909-1995)

John V. Hicks (1907-1999)

Gary Hyland (1940-2011)

Leo Kennedy (1907-2000)

Joseph Sherman (1945-2006)

Robin Skelton (1925-1997)

Miriam Waddington (1917-2004)