“Every so often, one comes across a poet and sees what makes poetry, poetry.” – Judges citation describing Anne Compton, winner of the 2014 Raymond Souster Award and author of Alongside (Fitzhenry and Whiteside).
Today, on Canada Day, all Canadian poets should be read and applauded. There are over 700 professional poets enrolled as members of the League of Canadian Poets and many more writers who are writing poetry at the grassroots level or for personal enjoyment. To select and spotlight the cream from the top must be a daunting task and yet each year, poetry awards are presented in an attempt to draw attention to certain poetic greatness and, yes, to sell more books.
The short-listed and award winners at the 48th annual League of Canadian Poets Poetry Festival and Conference
bill bissett received the Sheri D. Wilson Golden Beret Award for his influence and impact on spoken word in Canada.
One of the highlights of this year’s 48th annual League of Canadian Poets Poetry Festival and Conference early June at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in downtown Toronto was the awards dinner gala. The announcement of the winners is already old news but is worth repeating again for those who may have missed the excitement. See the League website for a media release on the gala presentations. The snapshots (my own) are being posted for the first time.
Behold the unique poetic voices rising like red and white flags from their books.
One more round of applause for these award-winners and for their contributions to the Canadian literary scene.
Happy Canada Day!
Ann Compton won the Raymond Souster Award for her book Alongside (Fitzhenry and Whiteside)
Murray Reiss won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for his book The Survival Rate of Butterflies in the Wild (Hagios Press)
Alexandra Oliver won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for her book Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway (Biblioasis)
Allan Briesmaster received the Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award
The Honourary Life Membership Award went to Kitty Lewis, General Manager of Brick Books
Missing from Photos: The Life Membership Award was given to Sheri-D Wilson