Louise Bernice Halfe wins Raymond Souster poetry prize

The $1,000 prize is given annually by the League of Canadian Poets. Burning in this Midnight Dream explores the horror and traumatic legacy of residential schools.
Louise Bernice Halfe is the author of Burning in this Midnight Dream, a poetry collection. (Coteau Books)

The winners of the League of Canadian Poets' 2017 awards were announced on June 10, 2017. The four awards recognize poets at different stages in their writing careers.

Louise Bernice Halfe won the $1,000 Raymond Souster Award for Burning in this Midnight Dream, a collection that explores the horror and traumatic legacy of residential schools. The $1,000 award is given to the best book of poetry by a league member.

"Halfe moves through hurt, anger and shame by shining light on the dark parts of what we do to each other," said the jury in a press release. "It allows us, as readers, intimate knowledge and hope for reconnection and love. The book moves out of simple poetry, and moves towards reconciliation through poetry."

The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, a $1,000 prize for a debut poetry collection, went to Ingrid Ruthig for This Being. Ruthig was applauded by the jury for her "smooth" poetry and "impeccable ear."

Sue Sinclair was awarded the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for Heaven's Thieves. The $1,000 prize honours a work of poetry by a Canadian woman.

Poet and performer d'bi.young anitafrika received the Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award for Spoken Word. The $1,000 award recognizes an artist whose excellence has contributed to the spoken word community.


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