NPM19: Announcing a new award from the League of Canadian Poets!

To close out National Poetry Month 2019, the League is very excited to announce something big that we’re looking forward to launching this year… a brand new $10,000 poetry prize! We couldn’t think of a better way to say farewell to #NPM19 than to share something for rising talents in Canadian poetry to look forward to!

The Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Award

The Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Award is being established to honour and encourage an emerging Canadian poet whose work displays ample creativity and promise. It will recognize the ambition of a Canadian poet with a portfolio of work to be excited about! Two prizes will be awarded, one each in the years 2019 & 2020, in the amount of $10,000.

Submissions are set to open in Fall 2019, at which time we will release more information about guidelines, eligibility, and our esteemed jurors! Stay tuned!

The Leon E. & Ann M. Pavlick Poetry Award 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 as 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 Award, we have the chance to provide an emerging Canadian poet with funds to encourage the growth of their creative practice, furthering our organization’s goal of nurturing a professional poetic community in Canada. We are honoured to have this chance, with thanks to Larry and Ann.

 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. 

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