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Confederation Poets Prize

The Confederation Poets Prize is awarded given for the best poem published in Arc in the preceding year. Selected by a prominent member of Canada’s literary communities, the award includes a $250 prize.

Arc Poetry Magazine‘s Confederation Poets Prize is named in recognition of a group of Canadian poets who were born around the time of Canadian Confederation. The term was first applied and usually refers to Charles G.D. Roberts, Bliss Carman, Archibald Lampman and Duncan Campbell Scott. Lampman and Scott, as well their contemporary William Wilfred Campbell, lived and wrote in Ottawa, where, in the formative years of a new country, they helped lay the foundation for a tradition of poetry.

A century later, Arc honours them and acknowledges the wealth of new Canadian poetry.

Year Winner Poem (issue) Judge
2022: Luke Hathaway “As the hart panteth after the water brooks…” (Arc 94) Brecken Hancock
2021: Mosab Alnomairy “Inevitable Pain” (Arc 91) Conyer Clayton
2020: Sachiko Murakami “An Internment” (Arc 88) Puneet Dutt
2019: Alycia Pirmohamed “Afterward” (Arc 86) Kim Fahner
2018: Hanako Masutani “Charlie Horse” (Arc 82) Renee Sarojini Saklikar
2017: Tom Wayman “Literally” (Arc 79) Faizal Deen
2016: Matthew Walsh “Your Mother’s a Regular Mom-Type” / “Hey, Your Dad’s a Regular Guy” (Arc 76)
2015: Stevie Howell “Ballad of Blood Hotel” (Arc 74)
2014: Ken Belford “The presence of similarities” (Arc 72)
2013: Barbara Nickel “Vancouver Aquarium Secret (Arc 69) Chris Jennings
2012: Bruce Taylor “Little Animals” (Arc 66 – Quarc) David Seymour
2011: David O’Meara “In the Event of Moon Disaster” (Arc Annual 2011) Elizabeth Bachinsky
2010: Patricia Young “The Night of the Apocalypse Yahweh Tinkles the Ivories” (Arc 63) Mary Dalton
2009: Luke Hathaway “Penelope in Heavy Weather” (Arc 62) David O’Meara (final judge) & George Murray (shortlist)
2008: Peter Norman “Up Near Wawa” (Arc 59) Joan Crate
2007: Michael Trussler “Asleep” (Arc 56) Anne Simpson
2006: Elizabeth Brewster “Moody Weather” (Arc 54) Molly Peacock
2005: Terence Young “Brave” (Arc 53) Di Brandt
2004: Mark Sinnett “What Separates Us From the Birds” (Arc 50) Gary Geddes
2003: Margo Button “Interviews at the Elders’ Palace” (Arc 48) Heather Spears (Denmark)
2002: Neile Graham “Wearing Nothing But the Midnight Sun” Douglas Lockhead
2001: Roger Nash “Breaking a Plate” Elizabeth Brewster
2000: Elizabeth Brewster “On Reincarnation” Al Purdy
1999: Wayne Tompkins “Hidden Register” Douglas Lockhead
1998: Gregory Scofield “He Is” Claire Harris
1997: Roger Nash “Circumstantial Evidence of the Visitation of Angels” D. G. Jones
1996: Mary di Michele Selections from”Crown of Roses” P. K. Page
1995: Barry Dempster “Unconditional Love” Don McKay
1994: Erin Mouré “Halls” Phyllis Webb
1993: Elisabeth Harvor “Do You Live Alone?” Anne Szumigalski
1992: Elisabeth Harvor “Bloom, Rain” Don Coles
1991: Harold Rhenisch “Talking with the Wind” Robin Skelton