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 Arts, WestJet, Saskatchewan Arts Board, Jennifer Boire and Jacques Nolin and the estate of Diane Brebner.
Poetry is alive and well in Canada and in Saskatchewan! ♥