Ottawa poet wins national LGBTQ writing award

Ottawa's Ben Ladouceur was one of three finalists contending for a national writing award for emerging LGBTQ writers.

Ben Ladouceur was among 3 finalists for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize

Ben Ladouceur was one of three finalists for the 2018 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for emerging writers from the LGBTQ community. (Alan Neal/CBC)


  • Ladouceur ended up winning the Dayne Ogilvie Prize Saturday evening.

An Ottawa poet is one of three finalists contending for a national award for emerging LGBTQ writers.

Ben Ladouceur's poetry collection Otter is up for the $4,000 Writers' Trust of Canada's 2018 Dayne Ogilvie Prize, presented annually to a writer whose published work demonstrates great literary promise.

Ladouceur previously won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award in 2016 and Earle Birney Poetry Prize in 2012.

The Canterbury High School graduate told CBC Radio's All in a Day he focuses on making his poetry accessible to people who normally have trouble understanding the art form.

His latest collection is filled with water imagery and themes of longing.

"I think wanting is a pretty necessary component to poem producing," Ladouceur said Friday.

"When you feel like something is missing, then you are treating the poem as maybe the thing that can fill that missing space."

2 other finalists 

The other two finalists are Trish Salah from Kingston, Ont., and Joshua Whitehead from Peguis First Nation on Treaty 1 territory in Manitoba. 

Salah is a professor of gender studies at Queen's University and Whitehead is working toward a PhD in Indigenous literatures and cultures at the University of Calgary.

The finalists were selected by a jury composed of authors Ali Blythe, Greg Kearney and Shannon Webb-Campbell.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Toronto Saturday evening.