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Archibald Lampman Award: the 2019 Shortlist

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Arc Poetry Magazine was founded in 1978 by three professors at Carleton University in Ottawa, on the traditional and unceded territories of the Algonquin Nation. We are proud to honour poets from this region, especially by presenting the Archibald Lampman Award to an outstanding collection of poetry by a National-Capital area author.

Selected by a jury of Dane Swan and Gillian Sze, the editorial board and board of directors for Arc Poetry Magazine extend congratulations to the shortlisted authors for the 2019 Archibald Lampman Award.

The shortlisted books and authors for this award are Book of Annotations (Invisible Publishing) by Cameron Anstee, Dividing the Wayside (Palimpsest Press) by Jenny Haysom, and Reunion (Brick Books) by Deanna Young.

The three shortlisted authors will join together for an evening of readings from their shortlisted collections on Thursday, October 3rd, at Vimy Brewing Company (1-145 Loretta Ave. N.). Readings will start at 7 PM. At this event we will also reveal the winner and honourable mention of the 2019 Diana Brebner Prize.

Afterwards, the presentation of the 2019 Lampman Award to the winner will take place at the Ottawa Book Awards on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, at 6:30 pm. The ceremony will be held at Jean Pigott Place, City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave West, and the event will be open to the public.

banner of the 2019 Lampman shortlist authors and covers

More about the 2019 Lampman Award Finalists:

Cameron Anstee lives and writes in Ottawa, where he runs Apt. 9 Press and holds a Ph.D. in Canadian Literature from the University of Ottawa. He is the editor of The Collected Poems of William Hawkins (Chaudiere Books, 2015).

Of Cameron Anstee’s Book of Annotations, the judges said:

Wise and playful, the epigrammatic poems in Book of Annotations push past the limits of each word and into a space tense with imagination and truth. Not a word is wasted as Cameron Anstee demonstrates supreme control of space and minimalism. The pithiness of the poems reminds one of coordinates of a constellation, or the tips of icebergs. To borrow Anstee’s words, “the smallest unit of feeling” … “out of these a world.” As delightful as it is challenging, Book of Annotations has a unique pulse of its own.

Jenny Haysom was born in England and raised in Nova Scotia. She completed her Master’s degree in English Literature at the University of Ottawa and has since worked for independent booksellers and the Ottawa Public Library. Her writing has been widely published and she is Arc Poetry Magazine’s former prose editor.

Of Jenny Haysom’s Dividing the Wayside, the judges said:

Dividing the Wayside is at once tender, generous, and lyrically explosive. The poet shines as she engages with writers and artists, examines the particulars of love and womanhood, and confronts both the beauty and ugliness of nature and human nature. Unflinchingly honest, the speakers in this collection find significance in beetle shells, dust, constellations, and everything in between. Much like her image of the heron catching fish in the shallows, Jenny Haysom, too, is a diviner. Open to the world, Haysom’s poetry deftly seizes the “sparks that dash and / turn like glitter.”

Deanna Young is the author of four books of poetry, including House Dreams, which was shortlisted for the Trilliam Book Award for Poetry, the Ottawa Book Award, the Archibald Lampman Award, and the ReLit Award. Born in the village of Lucan in south-western Ontario, she grew up there, in neighbouring townships, and in the nearby city of London. She now lives in Ottawa, where she teaches poetry privately.

Of Deanna Young’s Reunion, the judges said:

Reunion dives into a personal and generational history charged with myth, theology, trauma, and small town tales. Like listening to the blues, reading these poems carry a similar heartache, rural beauty, and heft. We find solace in the struggle. Beginning with the opening imperative of the book—“Let the ghosts greet you”—the reader can’t help but surrender to the richness and courage of Deanna Young’s language. The narratives Young presents grasp us in a haunting embrace that holds fast long after the book is closed.


Arc is grateful for the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Ottawa, as well as many individual supporters. For further information contact Arc Poetry Magazine at