Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize

Winner: $25,000
Sponsored by Latner Family Foundation

2016 Winner

Gregory Scofield

Gregory Scofield


Jury Citation

For seven collections of poetry, Gregory Scofield has impressed us with his memorable lyrics and keen eye for the finer details. His forms embrace the musical, the documentary, and the experimental in a vision of risk and generosity. From raw, urban truths to the solace of Cree cadence, from the heart beat of the drum to the wax poetics of a young Louis Riel, Scofield’s range of subject, work, and style dazzles. He has courage to let us in, and the patience to help us understand. This was a tough decision for the jury to make – there are so many strong poets in this country – but in Scofield we found the perfect representation of this award – a vast and ever evolving body of work, and still so much energy for things yet to come.

– Jurors Jeffery Donaldson, Karen Solie, Katherena Vermette


Witness, I Am (2016)
Louis (2011)
Kipocihkan (2009)
Singing Home the Bones (2005)
I Knew Two Metis Women (1999)
Love Medicine and One Song (1997)
Native Canadiana (1996)
The Gathering (1993)

Gregory Scofield

About the Author

Gregory Scofield is the author of seven acclaimed collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Witness, I Am, has just been released. He is Red River Métis of Cree, Scottish, and European descent, whose ancestry can be traced to the fur trade and to the Métis community of Kinesota, Manitoba. A speaker of Cree, he incorporates the language into his poetry. His well-known works include Louis: The Heretic Poems, Kipocihkân: Poems New and Selected, and Singing Home the Bones. Scofield won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 1994 for his debut collection, The Gathering: Stones for the Medicine Wheel, and he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 for his contributions to Canadian literature. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario, where he is an assistant professor of English Laurentian University.

About the Jury

Jeffery Donaldson is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Slack Action. His poetry collection Palilalia was nominated for the Canadian Author’s Association Award for Poetry in 2008. Donaldson teaches poetry and American literature at McMaster University. He lives in Hamilton.

Karen Solie published her first collection, Short Haul Engine, in 2001 and won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. She has since published three additional collections and won the Griffin Poetry Prize, a Trillium Book Award, and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Solie received the Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize in 2015. Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, she lives in Toronto.

Katherena Vermette is a Métis writer from Treaty One territory, the heart of the Métis nation, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her first book, North End Love Songs, won the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. Her literary work has appeared in several magazines and anthologies, and she recently completed work on a short documentary, this river, produced by the National Film Board of Canada. The Break is her first novel. She is a finalist for this year’s Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and was also shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award.

About the Prize

The Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize is given to a mid-career poet in recognition of a remarkable body of work, and in anticipation of future contributions to Canadian poetry. Poets are judged on their body of work – no less than three published collections – rather than a single book. All Canadian poets are considered and no age restrictions apply. The winner, selected by a three-member, independent judging panel, is announced annually at the Writers’ Trust Awards.

About the Sponsor

Founded in 1972 by Albert and the late Temmy Latner, the Latner Family Foundation has been providing support to health care, education, social development, and the arts in the Greater Toronto Area.




Woodcock Fund



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