Klara du Plessis nominated for two 2019 League of Canadian Poets prizes

The League of Canadian Poets have announced the shortlists for their three $2,000 prizes.
Ekke is a poetry collection by Klara du Plessis. (Palimpsest Press)

Ekke by Klara du Plessis, Obits. by Tess Liem and Port of Being by Shazia Hafiz Ramji are among the poetry collections shortlisted for the 2019 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, one of four $2,000 prizes administered annually by the League of Canadian Poets.

Finalists were announced for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, which celebrates debut poetry, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, which goes to a book of poetry by a Canadian woman, and the Raymond Souster Award, which is given to a book by a League of Canadian poets member.

Du Plessis's Ekke explores the poet's roots in South Africa and current life in Montreal through long, essay-like poems. She is the only poet this year to be a finalist for two prizes: the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and Pat Lowther Memorial Award.

Liem's Obits. collects prose poems that attempt to finish obituaries for people, especially women, who are missing and are often represented as statistics. The book is a Lambda Literary Award finalist this year.

Hafiz Ramji's Port of Being explores the ominous and ever-pervasive feeling of being surveilled — online, on the street, by the government and otherwise. 

The entire Gerald Lampert Memorial Prize shortlist includes:

  • Ekke by Klara du Plessis
  • Quarry by Tanis Franco
  • Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit by Mikko Harvey 
  • Dividing the Wayside by Jenny Haysom 
  • Obits. by Tess Liem
  • Port of Being by Shazia Hafiz Ramji

The jury for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Prize is comprised of Adebe DeRango-Adem, Amanda Earl and Jacob McArthur Mooney.

Dani Couture is among the poets shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Couture is a finalist for Listen Before Transmita collection of poems to be broadcasted between spaces — distances that range from the intimate to the celestial.

The entire Pat Lowther Memorial Award shortlist includes:

  • Listen Before Transmit by Dani Couture 
  • Ekke by Klara du Plessis 
  • Body Work by Emilia Nielsen
  • East and West by Laura Ritland
  • Reunion by Deanna Young
  • The Missing Field by Jennifer Zilm

The Pat Lowther Memorial Award jury is comprised of Robert Colman, Brenda Leifso and Shane Neilson.

Adam Dickinson is a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award for his collection Anatomic, in which the poet conducts microbiology tests on his body to determine how one writes insides from the outside.

David Martin, a past CBC Poetry Prize winner, is also on the shortlist for his collection on the Alberta oil sands, Tar Swan.

The entire Raymond Souster Award shortlist includes:

  • Anatomic by Adam Dickinson
  • I left nothing inside on purpose by Stevie Howell
  • Welcome to the Anthropocene by Alice Major 
  • Tar Swan by David Martin
  • Rooster, Dog, Crow by Jim Nason
  • Ledi by Kim Trainor

The Raymond Souster Award jury is comprised of Kathy Mac, Maurice Mierau and Concetta Principe.

The winners of the 2019 prizes will be announced on June 8 in St. John's, N.L. 

The winner of the annual Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award for Spoken Word will also be revealed on this date.


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