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League of Canadian Poets Announces 2018 Shortlists with Doubled Prize Money

Today the League of Canadian Poets released their shortlists for the 2018 Annual Poetry Awards, including the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the Raymond Souster Award, and the Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award for Spoken Word. Early this year the League announced longlists for the prizes for the first time

The second half of the announcement was a very happy one: each prize purse has been doubled to $2,000, with support from both the Canada Council for the Arts and individual donors. 

The winners of all four awards will be announced on Saturday, June 16, 2018, at a special luncheon and awards ceremony in Toronto at the Canadian Writers’ Summit, and live on Twitter at @canadianpoets. Registration for the Canadian Writers’ Summit is required to attend the awards ceremony. Interested parties are invited to contact for more information.

Congratulations to all of the shortlisted poets and their publishers for their fine work and to the jurors for making such tough decisions. We're especially excited to see friend of Open Book and Open Book advisory board member Canisia Lubrin, who is nominated for the Raymond Souster Award. 

Gerald Lampert Memorial Award:


Established 1981, $2,000. Awarded to a debut book of poetry. 2018 Jury: Laura McRae, Sandra Ridley, Clea Roberts

2018 Shortlist:

  • This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt (Frontenac House)
  • Faunics by Jack Davis (Pedlar Press)
  • Thin Air of the Knowable by Wendy Donawa (Brick Books)
  • Otolith by Emily Nilsen (Goose Lane Editions)
  • The Rules of the Kingdom by Julie Paul (McGill-Queen’s University Press)
  • Admission Requirements by Phoebe Wang (McClelland and Stewart)

Pat Lowther Memorial Award


Established 1981 in honour of the late Pat Lowther, $2,000. Awarded to a book of poetry by a female-identifying author. 2018 Jury: Bruce Meyer, Cheryl Antao-Xavier, Julie Cameron Gray

2018 Shortlist:

  • Indianland by Lesley Belleau (ARP Books)
  • Bicycle Thieves by Mary di Michele (ECW Press)
  • Museum of Kindness by Susan Elmslie (Brick Books)
  • Breathing at Dusk by Beth Goobie (Coteau Books)
  • Dear Ghost by Catherine Owen (Wolsak & Wynn)
  • Admission Requirements by Phoebe Wang (McClelland and Stewart)

Raymond Souster Award


Established 2013, $2,000. Awarded to a book of poetry by a League of Canadian Poets member. 2018 Jury: Hendrik Slegtenhorst, Almeda Miller, Jimmy McInnes

2018 Shortlist:

  • This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt (Frontenac House)
  • The Better Monsters by Puneet Dutt (Mansfield Press)
  • Cloud Physics by Karen Enns (University of Regina Press)
  • Slow War by Benjamin Hertwig (McGill-Queen's University Press)
  • Trailer Park Elegy by Cornelia Hoogland (Harbour Publishing)
  • Voodoo Hypothesis by Canisia Lubrin (Wolsak & Wynn)

Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award for Spoken Word


Established 2007, $2,000. Honours a Canadian spoken word artist who has made a substantial contribution to the development of spoken word, through the originality and excellence of his or her own writing/performance works, and through involvement in—and contributions to—the expansion of the spoken word community. 2018 Jury: Sheri-D Wilson, d’bi.young anitafrika, Ian Ferrier

2018 Shortlist:

  • Ian Keteku
  • Kaie Kelloug
  • Dwayne Morgan

For more information about the award and the League of Canada Poets, please visit their website