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Tess Liem, Stevie Howell win 2019 Book Awards for poetry

Poets Tess Liem, Klara du Plessis, Stevie Howell, and Andrea Thompson have won 2019 Book Awards, The League of Canadian Poets announced at a ceremony in St. John’s on June 8. Each winner receives $2,000. The longlist was previously announced on April 1, followed by the shortlist on April 23.

The Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for a debut book of poetry was presented to Tess Liem for Obits. (Coach House Books). The jury – comprised of Adebe DeRango-Adem, Amanda Earl, and Jacob McArthur Mooney – said in a citation, “It contains one of the most complete treatments of depression in Canadian poetry and an expansive, challenging, new approach to the idea of mourning.”

The Pat Lowther Memorial Award for a book of poetry by a Canadian woman was presented to Klara du Plessis for Ekke (Palimpsest Press). The jury – comprised of Robert Colman, Brenda Leifso, and Shane Neilson – described the collection as “both politically conscious and aesthetically beautiful.”

The Raymond Souster Award for a book of poetry by a member of the League of Canadian Poets was presented to Stevie Howell for I left nothing inside on purpose (McClelland & Stewart). The jury – comprised of Kathy Mac, Maurice Mierau, and Concetta Principe – described the collection as “sophisticated, funny, and sad, often within the same line.”

The Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award for Spoken Word was presented to Andrea Thompson. The jury – comprised of Sheri-D Wilson, Kevan Anthony Cameron, and Dwayne Morgan – described her as a Canadian icon of spoken word producing work that “explores and pushes boundaries – as artist practitioner, activist, educator and historian.”