Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize

The Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize was a one-time prize seeking to honour and encourage a Canadian poet whose work displays ample creativity and promise as well as an outstanding poetry group or collective with a positive and ongoing impact on poetry in Canada. Two prizes of $10,000 were awarded. With an abundance of excellent applications, two runners-up prizes of $2,500 were also awarded.

The Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize commemorates Pavlick’s Passages – a biography of Leon & Ann’s love story written in a unique poetic form – and the life and work of Leon E. Pavlick, who was a celebrated Canadian poet and member of the League. This award is made possible by a generous donation from Larry H. Mueller and Ann Pavlick in Leon’s memory. The League of Canadian Poets extends our exuberant thanks to Larry H. Mueller and Ann M. Pavlick whose contribution made this wonderful award possible. Through the Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize, we had the chance to provide a Canadian poet and a Canadian poetry group with funds to encourage their growth, furthering our organization’s goal of nurturing a professional poetic community in Canada. We are honoured to have had this chance, with thanks to Larry and Ann.

The Winners of the Leon E. and Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize are Canthius and Andrea Thompson!

See full details about the winners

Submissions are closed. This Prize was open to nominations from November 17, 2020 to January 22, 2021.


Poets: This prize will be awarded to a Canadian poet with an outstanding portfolio of poetry  

  • One poet with an outstanding portfolio of poetry  
  • Any stage of career (a few publication or major performance credits recommended) 
  • Poetry as primary or one of primary working genres (multidisciplinary artists welcome; poetry portfolio should be exceptional) 
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident 
  • Submission made in English 
  • Disclose conflicts of interest with jury in submission 

Groups: This prize will be awarded to a Canadian collective or group that has had a positive and ongoing impact on the careers and development of Canadian Poets 

  • Annual budget of $100,000 or less  
  • Can be collective or publication, publisher, reading series, workshop series, or community group with an annual operating budget up to $75,000 per year 
  • Applicants may not be individual poets, large organizations or businesses, or groups that do not have a particular and primary focus on poetry  
  • Submission made in English 
  • At least 3 full years of activity to date 

For more details on requirements and application for the Pavlick prize, please see our Guide to Submitting – For Poets

Submissions and Eligibility FAQ

Who is eligible to win this prize?

Any poet from Canada or a poet practicing in Canada is eligible. Membership with the League is not required.

Can I nominate someone else and myself?

Yes! You may submit up to three (3) total nominations

Can I find out who nominated me? / Will my nominee be informed of my nomination?

Nominations will be kept anonymous.

What happens after I have been nominated?

The League will contact you with next steps, which will request that you assemble a full application that will require, but may not be limited to:

*Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of application requirements, but a brief overview of the primary items that will be requested upon nomination.

For Poets:

  • A personal statement and reflection on how this award will benefit you
  • A portfolio of poetry, published or unpublished
  • Bibliography of works and/or performance history
  • Poetry and literary arts-specific CV
  • List of major accomplishments and awards
  • Up to 3 reference letters/letters of support

For Groups:

  • Vision and Mandate
  • Past and present activities
  • Future goals and reflection on how this award will benefit you
  • Budget information
  • Up to 3 reference letters
  • Additional content/branded materials

Please wait for direct instructions from the LCP (via email) on how to assemble and deliver the requirements of the full application.


I don’t have a rich network of colleagues in writing or the literary arts; can I still win this prize? 

The primary focus of this award is recognizing an innovative portfolio of poetry, as well as community contributions. The prize is open to poets at all stages of their careers, and we sincerely hope that no applicants will deem themselves ineligible due to a lack of a network. The application should simply be completed as thoroughly as possible: submit your best work, and have your application reflect the role poetry plays in your life and in your communities.
Letters of support and reference are entirely optional.

I have not won any major awards for my poetry; can I still win this prize?

Yes – who knows, this could be your first!

Who will decide the winner?

The Pavlick Poetry Prize winners will be selected by a jury of three (3) professional poets or literary-arts based professionals with longstanding commitment and service to the Canadian poetry community.

When will the winners be announced?

The winners of the Leon E. and Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Prize will be announced in March, 2021.

 Celebrating the poetry of Leon E. Pavlick:

Nature in Review by Leon E. Pavlick Upon her dais she did stand,  Reviewing all her troops.  No men in cadence passed her way,  Only creation’s loops.  A bumblebee from flower to flower,  Sweet nectar sought for sake,  Delivered pollen at each stop,  And so paid for its take.  The flowers coloured up the hill,  With bright bold hues – and green;  They set new seeds the like of which,  The world has never seen.  The ground squirrel ate such tender shoots,  As rendered by the plants; Its hillside diggings churned the soil,  Helping trees advance.  It bravely tested time’s assault,  Knew many changing skies;  Then a red-tailed hawk with claw and clutch,  Did seize it for its prize.  Upon her dais she did stand,  Both proud and sad this day.  Some of her making soldiered on,  While others slipped away.  Of humankind that’s blessed with mind,  So likely to succeed,  She saw there some bright enterprise,  Some caring and some greed.  Some helped others, some put in,  But most did vie for gold.  For power, the kind unearned –  Their peace of mind was sold.  Some used not their mind but brawn;  Each toiled to fill his bowl.  Others denied themselves esteem;  They cheated, lied and stole.  Some got stuck in mankind’s web,  While others learned and grew; Firm ground was there to build upon,  And mires for marching through.  You are my warriors, all and each,  In war that’s never won.  Your battles, struggles, move each year,  With a brief setting sun.  A new day dawns, then your seeds and spawn,  Go boldly forward to fight –  Each a new trial to test the world,  And conquer what you might.  Some of you have the stuff and luck,  To endure and sow your seeds;  For some of you the fortune’s lean,  And you depart with scanty deeds.  But for each one that’s ever come,  I’ve granted sunshine to –  And rainbow colours, clear blue skies,  And rain and morning dew. 

Leon E. Pavlick (1939 — 2003), was the Curator of Botany for almost two decades at the Royal British Columbia Museum. He was an internationally recognized plant and tree expert who graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honors Botany) from the University of Victoria in BC and earned his Masters Degree of Science in Botany (Honors) from Washington State University. Leon was recognized for his work by the Governments of British Columbia, Canada and the United States. 

Aside from his work as a talented Botanist, Leon E. Pavlick was also a celebrated poet and member of the League of Canadian Poets. You can find some of his poetry in the Ridge Series, co-authored with Ann M. Pavlick – which includes Red Pines on the RidgeFoxes on the Ridge, and Aspens on the Ridge. Leon wrote many of his poetic works alongside his beloved wife, Ann. You can read about the relationship that Leon and Ann shared as commemorated in Pavlick’s Passages by Larry H. Mueller and Ann M. Pavlick.