League of Canadian Poets awards 2012 Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award

Saturday June 16, 2012 — Here in Saskatoon at the Poetry Festival and Conference of the League of Canadian Poets, poet Wendy Morton of Sooke, B.C. was the winner of the first-ever Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award.

Established in memory of late poet and honorary member Colleen Thibaudeau (1925-2012), the award was created by the League of Canadian Poets and Colleen Thibaudeau’s family to honour and recognize a substantial volunteer project or series of projects that significantly nurture and support poets and poetry across Canada.

Wendy Morton is the founder of Random Acts of Poetry, which involved hundreds of Canadian poets over a period of seven years. She is also the recipient of the 2010 Spirit Bear Award and The Golden Beret Award, and was made an Honorary Citizen of Victoria in 2011.

Also honoured were poet Sue Goyette, who won the 2012 Pat Lowther Memorial Award for her book outskirts (Brick Books), and Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang, the winner of the 2012 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for her book Sweet Devilry (Oolichan Books). The League also recognized the contributions of Oscar Malan of Novel Idea Bookstore in Kingston, Ontario, who is now an Honorary Member, and Penn Kemp, Poet Laureate of London, Ontario (2010-2012), who is now a Life Member.

Short-listed poets for the Pat Lowther Award were Stephanie Bolster for A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth  (Brick Books), Lorna Crozier for Small Mechanics (McClelland & Stewart Ltd.), Rosemary Griebel for Yes. (Frontenac House), Amanda Jernigan for Groundwork (Biblioasis), and Jan Zwicky for Forge (Gaspereau Press).

The runners-up for the Gerald Lampert Award this year were Kirsty Elliot for True (Leaf Press), Rosemary Griebel for Yes. (Frontenac House), Suzanne Robertson for Paramita, Little Black (Guernica Editions), Lisa Shatzky for Do Not Call Me By My Name (Black Moss Press), and Leslie Vryenhoek for Gulf (Oolichan Books).

Congratulations to all the award winners and shortlisted poets, and also to Robert Currie for presenting the Anne Szumigalski Lecture. Anne Szumigalski (1922-1999) was a much-loved Saskatchewan poet and winner of the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for her book Voice in 1995. Robert reminded us of Anne Szumigalski’s work as a mentor for other writers and her commitment to the arts in her province.

Thank you to the sponsors of the event: The Canada Council for the ArtsWestJetSaskatchewan Arts BoardJennifer Boire and Jacques Nolin and the estate of Diane Brebner.

Poetry is alive and well in Canada and in Saskatchewan! ♥

Wendy Morton of Sooke, B.C. is the winner of the 2012 Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award


Colleen Thibaudeau’s “This Elastic Moment”

Many thanks to the editors of Brick (Issue 89, page 182) for printing this poem by Colleen Thibaudeau.

This Elastic Moment

Yes we are that too: we are everything who feel it.
Everything that has meaning has the same meaning as angels: these
hoverers and whirrers: occupied with us.
Men may be in the parkgrass sleeping: or be he who sits in his
shirtsleeves every blessed Sunday: rasping away at his child who
is catching some sunshine: from the sticky cloud hanging over the
Laura Secord factory: and teetering on the pales of the green
iron fence: higher up than the briary bushes.
I pass and make no sound: but the silver and whirr of my bicycle
going round: but must see them who don’t see: get their fit, man
and child: let this elastic moment stretch out in me: till that
point where they are inside and invisible.
It is not to afterward eat a candy: picket that factory: nor to
go by again and see that rickety child on the fence.
When the band of the moment breaks there will come angelic

Colleen Thibaudeau, 1977

Also in Issue 89 of Brick, Stan Dragland  remembers Applegarth Follies, another London, Ontario publisher:

“… Colleen Thibaudeau’s Ten Letters, the first chapbook I published [under the forerunner of Brick Books], was printed offset by Mike Niederman at Applegarth Follies. I had set the text in the Baskerville type donated by James Reaney to The Belial Press at the university after he completed his ten-year run of Alphabet. One of Applegarth’s presses was the old foot-pumped jobber on which Reaney had printed his magazine. There was plenty of literary interconnection in London back then.”