Massy Books is the 2022 recipient of the League of Canadian Poets’ Honorary Membership Award.
Each year, the LCP presents this award to honour and celebrate leaders in Canada’s poetry community, who achieve and contribute to poetry in extraordinary ways. Massy Books is more than deserving of this award, as their commitment and dedication to the literary arts, as well as the passion and purpose under which they operate.
Massy Books is a 100 per cent Indigenous-owned and operated independent bookstore, art gallery, and community space. A member of the Stó:lō Business Association, Massy Books operates on the traditional, ancestral, unceded, and occupied territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Amongst the over 1,500-square-foot, two-story space, houses unending displays of community art, and shelves full of paperbacks, vintage comics, literary fiction, a rare book collection, and of course, poetry.
Massy Books’ owner and founder is Patricia Massy, who is of mixed Cree, Métis and English descent. Patricia comes from seven generations of booksellers, which includes sharing relations with Stephen Massey, founder of Christie’s Auction House book department in New York.
After 17 years of working at various bookstores and non-profits, she was inspired to open her own used bookstore in 2016 that would also be able to serve as an event space for the community.
“At Massy Books we see every book as treasure waiting to be discovered. From rare, off-beat and out-of-print books to familiar titles and current-day best sellers, we scour the internet and places near and far knowing that the books we source have a perfect match in a reader or collector who is as passionate about books as we are!”
There is an immensity to the connection that the patrons and staff at Massy Books create. At Massy Books, community runs deep, through books, events, advocacy, and passion for literary arts. The League of Canadian Poets is so proud to celebrate this needed work in Canada’s literary scene.
Even throughout the pandemic, Massy Books continued to grow and adapt as a cultural centre and hub for book lovers, artists, non-profits, and more. Featuring programs like the Indigenous Brilliance Reading Series, the programs offered at Massy Books are an extension of Patricia’s vision of holistic community care, which again finds its foundation in that precious object: a book.
From the Massy Books website: “Books have a kind of portable magic that accelerates curiosity, sparks conversations, makes connections and incites action. We believe in the power of books to enrich lives and build community.”
The League of Canadian Poets also believes in Massy Books’ vision: that the literary and poetic arts are more than words written or spoken: they are a testimony to our experiences and perspectives, and how we are all connected to each other.
“Poetry allows us to confront and enhance our sensitivity to the ways in which we understand words, thoughts, and experiences in our physical, sensorial, and cultural worlds. Whether at readings, open mics, book launches, or literary workshops, Massy Books has experienced how these events are a form of collective healing, proving how important it is for humans to deepen our understanding of one another, the importance of presence, and the need for connection in our present time. When a community listens, when stories are shared and voices become intertwined, our community becomes more alive.”
We hope that with the LCP’s 2022 Honorary Member Award, Massy Books and all its patrons will know that they are unequivocal and essential to the literary landscape of this land.