Sonnet L'Abbé wins $4,000 bpNichol Chapbook Award

The Vancouver Island writer and poet received the honour for her chapbook Anima Canadensis.
Sonnet L'Abbé is a poet, teacher and literary critic. (Sonnet L'Abbé)

Sonnet L'Abbé of Vancouver Island has won the 2017 bpNichol Chapbook Award for her poetry chapbook Anima Canadensis. It was announced at the Indie Literary Market in Toronto this month.

The $4,000 award — named in honour of the late poet, novelist and publisher bpNichol — is an annual prize for Canadian poetry chapbooks, which are collections up to 48 pages in length. 

L'Abbé, the editor of Best Canadian Poetry 2014 and author of the collection Killarnoe, is a writer, literary critic and professor at Vancouver Island University. As a poet, L'Abbé writes about national identity, race, gender and language.

"My lyric verse has always searched for satisfying ways to put the experience of being an English-speaking, Canadian-born Black-Indo Caribbean/French woman into words on a page. Concrete and sound poetries, which bpNichol helped make such a strong tradition in Canada, expanded the number of ways I could do that," L'Abbé said in her acceptance speech.

"Inventing her own mode of wildcrafting, L'Abbé approaches with curiosity, tenderness and contemporary imagination the question of what it means for us all — people, animals, plants, rocks, chemicals, technology, even bacteria — to be here together on this land at this moment in history," the judges said in a statement. "The result is a vision for accountability that nourishes and sustains, a transformation of relations that enriches."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?