2024 LCP Book Awards: Shortlists

Celebrating the 2024 book award shortlists

Congratulations to all the poets and publishers featured on the shortlists for our Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and Raymond Souster Award! We are thrilled to be highlighting six books on each shortlist, selected with care by a panel of jurors. Each award carries a $2,000 prize for the winner.

An online event will be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at 8pm ET to celebrate the finalists! The event will feature brief readings from shortlisted poets.

The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, for a debut book of poetry, is given in the memory of Gerald Lampert, an arts administrator who organized authors’ tours and took a particular interest in the work of new writers.

The Pat Lowther Memorial Award is awarded memory of the late Pat Lowther, whose career was cut short by her untimely death in 1975. As a women’s prize, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award is inclusive of cis women, trans women, and non-binary writers who feel comfortable being recognized by a women’s prize.

The Raymond Souster Award, which celebrates a new book of poetry by a League member, honors Raymond Souster, a founder of the League.

Winners coming May 1, 2024

2024 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award Shortlist

For a debut book of poetry

Jury: Conyer Clayton, Michael V Smith, Shannon Webb-Campbell

  • Wires That Sputter by Britta Badour (McClelland & Stewart)
  • The All + Flesh by Brandi Bird (House of Anansi Press)
  • Chores by Maggie Burton (Breakwater Books Ltd.)
  • Xanax Cowboy by Hannah Green (House of Anansi Press)
  • Archipelago by Laila Malik (Book*hug Press)
  • More Sure by A Light Zachary (Arsenal Pulp Press)

2024 Pat Lowther Memorial Award Shortlist

For a book of poetry by a woman

Jury: Manahil Bandukwala, Jenna Butler, Isabella Wang

  • Wires That Sputter by Britta Badour (McClelland & Stewart)
  • the natural hustle by Eva H.D. (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Archipelago by Laila Malik (Book*hug Press)
  • Vixen by Sandra Ridley (Book*hug Press)
  • Selvage by Kate Siklosi (Invisible Publishing)
  • Falling Back in Love with Being Human by Kai Cheng Thom (Penguin Canada)

2024 Raymond Souster Award Shortlist

For a new book of poetry by a League member

Jury: Tara Borin, Adebe DeRango-Adem, David Ly

  • Uncomfortability by Roxanna Bennett (Gordon Hill Press)
  • The All + Flesh by Brandi Bird (House of Anansi Press)
  • Bottom Rail on Top by D.M. Bradford (Brick Books)
  • Spells, Wishes, and the Talking Dead: ᒪᒪᐦᑖᐃᐧᓯᐃᐧᐣ ᐸᑯᓭᔨᒧᐤ ᓂᑭᐦᒋ ᐋᓂᐢᑯᑖᐹᐣ mamahtâwisiwin, pakosêyimow, nikihci-âniskotâpân by Wanda John-Kehewin (Talonbooks)
  • Slows: Twice by T. Liem (Coach House Books)
  • Sonnets from a Cell by Bradley Peters (Brick Books)

About the finalists

Britta Badour headshot
Britta Badour | Photo credit: Gilad Cohen

Born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, Britta Badour, better known as Britta B. is an award-winning artist, public speaker, emcee, voice talent, and poet living in Toronto. She is the author of the poetry collection and audiobook, Wires that Sputter, published by McClelland & Stewart. As a moderator, she has interviewed celebrities like Jay Shetty, Keke Palmer, Ziwe, and Amelia Dimoldenberg, as well as professional athletes and New York Times Best Selling authors. She curates an annual showcase called Soundtracks & Stanzas presented by Toronto International Festival of Authors. Britta holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph and teaches spoken word performance at Seneca College.

"For me, it was a huge accomplishment to realize my dream of being a published poet and to have this book take shape in the world. Being recognized as a finalist means my work has an even greater opportunity to reach wider audiences and be put in the hands of readers who might not have otherwise been introduced to my poetry. Gratitude to the selection committee for amplifying Wires that Sputter!"

Roxanna Bennett headshot
Roxanna Bennett

Roxanna Bennett is the author of Uncomfortability (Gordon Hill Press, 2023), The Suspect We with Shane Neilson (Palimpsest Press, 2023) The Untranslatable I (Gordon Hill Press, 2021), Unbecoming Prophecy with Khashayar Mohammadi (chapbook, Collusion Books, 2022) & Unmeaningable (Gordon Hill Press, 2019).

On being a finalist, Bennett writes: "we consider poem-making a calling, not a career"

Brandi Bird headshot
Brandi Bird | Photo credit: Fern DiRossi-Bird

Brandi Bird's chapbook I Am Still Too Much was published by Rahila’s Ghost Press in Spring 2019. Their first full-length poetry collection The All + Flesh was published by House of Anansi Press in Fall 2023. Their work can also be found in Poetry is Dead, Catapult, Hazlitt, Brick Magazine and others.

"Being a finalist means that more people may pick up my book and get inspired to write themselves! That would be the best compliment."

Darby Minott Bradford headshot
Darby Minott Bradford | Photo credit: Annie France Noël

Darby Minott Bradford is a poet and translator based in Tio'tia:ke (Montreal). They are the author of Dream of No One but Myself (Brick Books, 2021), which won the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and was a finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize and Governor General’s Literary Awards. House Within a House by Nicholas Dawson (Brick Books, 2023), Bradford's first translation, won the VMI Betsy Warland Between Genres Award, the John Glassco Translation Prize, and was a GG finalist. Bottom Rail on Top is their second book.

"As the institutional supports for what we do as artists and poets are faltering, the recognition of my peers and colleagues that the Raymond Souster Award represents feels like the whole thing. I'm honoured to be a finalist alongside an incredible group of poets, and I can't wait to take a moment to celebrate what we're up to, what we're about, as a community."

Maggie Burton headshot
Maggie Burton

Originally from Brigus, Newfoundland and Labrador, Maggie Burton currently lives in St. John’s with her four children where she works as a City Councillor, musician, and writer. Her first book of poetry, Chores, was published by Breakwater Books in 2023. Burton’s poems have been published in Prism, Grain, Riddle Fence, The Malahat Review, and other Canadian journals. She is the recipient of two NL Arts and Letters Awards for poetry.

"My hope is that being a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award brings Chores and other poetry collections published by Breakwater Books here in Newfoundland and Labrador to new audiences across Canada. "

Hannah Green headshot
Hannah Green

Hannah Green is a writer and poetry editor at CV2. Her debut collection Xanax Cowboy won the 2023 Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry. She likes to draw sad cowboys when she isn't writing about them.

On being selected as a finalist, Hannah Green writes: "It is so exciting!!"

Eva H.D. headshot
Eva H.D. | Photo credit: Mereditch Meade, Esq.

Eva H.D. wrote this book (the natural hustle) and also Jackals & Fireflies, not a book.

"I failed out of school, so I'm hoping that being a finalist for this award comes with a diploma. My career will never be the same again."

Wanda John-Kehewin headshot
Wanda John-Kehewin | Photo credit: Gary Alteza

Wanda John-Kehewin is a Cree writer who came to Vancouver, BC, on the Greyhound when she was nineteen, pregnant — carrying a bag of chips, a bottle of pop, thirty dollars, and hope. Wanda has been writing about the near decimation of Indigenous culture, language, and tradition as a means to process history and trauma that allows her to stand in her truth and to share that truth openly. Wanda is a multi-genre writer who has published in many different genres in hopes of reaching others. With many years of traveling the healing path (well, mostly stumbling), she brings personal experience of healing to share with others. Wanda is the mother of five amazing children, who continue to inspire her to write for future generations. Wanda completed her MFA at UBC in 2022.

"Being a finalist means that I am reaching others in a good kind way with my words, thoughts and experiences. It means that future generations will have Indigenous writers to turn to for inspiration. It also means the Indigenous experience lives on in history and doesn't just become the past. It means my words have fell on ears who are listening with open minds and hearts."

T Liem headshot
T. Liem | Photo credit: Surah Field-Green

T. Liem is the author of Slows: Twice (Coach House 2023), and Obits. (Coach House, 2018). Their writing has been published in Apogee, Plenitude, The Boston Review, Grain, Maisonneuve, Catapult, The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, and elsewhere. They live in Montreal / Tio’Tia:ke, unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territories.

"A career in writing always feels precarious and though awards and lists are not the point, it is an honour to be included and supported in this way. Not to be dramatic, but I never feel certain that I will be able to continue writing and publishing so I'm grateful to the League for making this space to celebrate and for highlighting the work that's been done. Big congratulations to all the finalists!"

Laila Malik headshot
Laila Malik | Photo credit: Maryam Mir

Laila Malik is a desisporic writer in Adobigok. Her debut poetry collection, archipelago (Book*Hug Press, 2023) was named one of the CBC’s Best Canadian Poetry Books of 2023. Her essays have been nominated for the Pushcart and Best of the Net, longlisted in various contests, and published in Canadian and international literary journals.

"I know enough to know that the quiet aunties and children who make your food and fade into the background are the most furious of secret poets, that the best is hidden deep within the mundane, may never be known to a world that strains and churns. And yet, as a person who never had the opportunity to exclusively devote my time to writing, being named a finalist is a nod to the quiet aunty and child in me, the one who has stubbornly continued to write against all the chafe and vagary and unlikeliness. It means the opportunity to connect with and learn from those who also insist on summoning spirit through their wordwork, and the opportunity to offer others a clear window of possibility that may otherwise have seemed unimaginable."

Bradley Peters headshot
Bradley Peters | Photo credit: Dawson Friesen

Bradley Peters grew up in the Fraser Valley, graduated from UBC’s Creative Writing Program, and has since been shortlisted or named runner-up for several awards. Bradley won the Short Grain Contest, and his poems have recently appeared in Arc, Geist, Grain, SubTerrain, The Malahat Review, and elsewhere. Bradley’s debut poetry collection, Sonnets from a Cell, is published with Brick Books. Since its release, Sonnets from a Cell was listed as one of CBC’s Best Books of the Year, and Bradley has been a featured guest on Radio Q with Tom Power. The poems in Bradley Peters' debut collection mix inmate speech, prison psychology, skateboard slang, and contemporary lyricism in a way that is tough and tender, and that critiques the structures that sentence so many to lose.

"Never in my wildest dreams would I have anticipated such an incredible honour. My biggest hope is that being a finalist for this award will help illuminate the systemic issues within our countries inherently violent penal system. I am floored and full of gratitude."

Sandra Ridley headshot
Sandra Ridley

Sandra Ridley is the author of three chapbooks and five books of poetry, the most recent of which is Vixen, published by Book*Hug Press in the fall of 2023. Ridley has been nominated for the Ontario Arts Council’s KM Hunter Artist Award for Mid-Career Writer and the Ottawa Arts Council’s Mid-Career Artist Award. She lives in Ottawa.

"Given Pat Lowther's life and work, and the full context of this award, there is no higher honour for Vixen. I am deeply grateful."

Kate Siklosi headshot
Kate Siklosi | Photo credit: Jesse Pajuäär

Kate Siklosi is a poet, scholar, publisher, teacher, and new mom. Her work includes Selvage (Invisible 2023), leavings (Timglaset 2021), and six chapbooks of poetry. Her critical and creative work has also been featured across North America, Europe, and the UK. She is the curator of the Small Press Map of Canada and co-founding editor of Gap Riot Press, a neat little feminist experimental press.

"It's an incredible honour to be a finalist, especially for this prize in particular that celebrates and recognizes the work of women in Canada. My work involves a lot of domestic, handcrafted visual work, which for too long was not seen as serious work, so it is wonderful to have some recognition that this work has a definite place. Also, this book in particular took me many years to write, and was a difficult, trying process as it deals with some really sensitive familial trauma; so to have this book connect with others and ignite further conversations is really energizing."

Kai Cheng Thom headshot
Kai Cheng Thom | Photo credit: Samuel Engelking

Kai Cheng Thom is a writer, performance artist, community healer, lasagna lover and wicked witch. She is the author of six books in multiple genres, including Falling Back in Love with Being Human: Letters to Lost Souls, a national bestseller in Canada, and the novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars, which was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award. Her poetry collection a place called No Homeland and her essay collection, I Hope We Choose Love, are also award-winning. Quill & Quire called Kai Cheng's writing "the kale of CanLit" because of celebrity interest in her work, which has been featured by actress Emma Watson's feminist book club and on a podcast hosted by Dame Julie Andrews.

"To be a finalist for a major Canadian literary award in poetry is, for me, the realization of multiple dreams: My personal dream, certainly, to be recognized as a literary artist in this country, but also that of my Chinese family who emigrated here in the early half of the 20th century at a time when Chinese migrants were heavily impacted by the Head Tax and Chinese Exclusion Act. They suffered and survived for the dream of a bright future for their descendants. I hope that my work and life can honour them, as well as the many trans women of colour who died before me in the struggle to have trans voices heard within the dominant culture."

A. Light Zachary headshot
A. Light Zachary | Photo credit: Saul Freedman-Lawson

A. Light Zachary is the author of More Sure, which was recently named a Stonewall Honor Book of 2024.

On being selected as a finalist, A. Light Zachary writes: "This is my favourite book. I am grateful and gratified to know it is being read with care and attention."