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Archibald Lampman Award: the 2022 Shortlist

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.


On Monday, September 19th, 2022, starting at 7PM EST, the three shortlisted authors will join together for an evening of readings from their shortlisted collections. This event will be held at Spark Beer* (702 Somerset Street W, Ottawa, ON). Updates on this event can be found here:

*Accessibility Info for Spark Beer: unfortunately, the venue is not entirely mobility device accessible due to the age of the building. As such, we are able to assist folks in getting into and out of our raised step building, but the main floor bathroom is not large enough for large mobility devices such as wheelchairs. Please contact us if this will be an issue.

The announcement of the Archibald Lampman Award winner will take place at the Ottawa Book Awards ceremony. The event will take place in person on Wednesday, October 19th, 2022, at Les Lye Studio at the Meridian Theatre, starting at 7 PM EST. More information about the Ottawa Book Awards can be found here.



The jury for the 2022 award were Bertrand Bickersteth (Calgary), Peter Norman (Etobicoke), and Isabella Wang (New Westminster). The editorial board and board of directors for Arc Poetry Magazine are excited to present the shortlist that the jury has selected:

> buckled into the sky (Guernica Editions) by Adele Graf
> Masses on Radar (Coach House Books) by David O’Meara
> DisPlace: The Poetry of Nduka Otiono (WLU Press) by Nduka Otiono, Edited by Peter Midgley


Our congratulations to all of the shortlisted authors!

The headshots and book covers of the 2022 Lampman Award shortlist against a green background space


Learn more about the 2021 Shortlist

> buckled into the sky (Guernica Editions) by Adele Graf
> Masses on Radar (Coach House Books) by David O’Meara
> DisPlace: The Poetry of Nduka Otiono (WLU Press) by Nduka Otiono, Edited by Peter Midgley



a head and shoulders photo of Adele Graf


Adele Graf grew up outside New York City and immigrated to Canada in 1968. She has worked as a writer and editor, and taught writing in the public and private sectors in Halifax and Ottawa. Her first book of poetry, math for couples, was published by Guernica Editions in 2017 and shortlisted for the Archibald Lampman Award. Her chapbook, Directions to Suffern NY circa 1950, won the Tree Reading Series chapbook prize and was published in 2018. Her second book of poetry, buckled into the sky, was published by Guernica Editions in 2021. She lives in Ottawa with her spouse.


The judges said:the cover of buckled into the sky, with the title and author's name written on a blue-green background. Across the middle of the cover is a strip of clouds, and over the clouds is a buckled seatbelt.

Graf deploys a masterful ear and eye, and a playful sense of the possibilities of language, in addressing a remarkable range of subject matter, from serious tragedy to ancient myth to family history to the foibles of contemporary existence. The interplay between the personal and the historical is effectively achieved, as are the renderings of personal truth mined from family lore. This skilful, varied collection offers an intriguing glimpse of a brilliant and engaged sensibility.




a waist-up photo of David O’Meara standing in front of a handrail and some graffiti, which is in a sepia-tinted black and white.


David O’Meara is the Director of the Plan 99 Reading Series, and was the founding Artistic Director for VERSeFest. His most recent book is A Pretty Sight. He lives in Ottawa.


The judges said:the cover of Masses on Radar, wit the title and author's name written in the bottom left corner, on a snow-like background; on the rest of the cover, the snow is indented with two columns of thin, irregular lines, which appear black.

Masses on Radar exhibits a stunning mastery of poetic craft. O’Meara has the talent and technique to turn almost anything into riveting poetry, but these poems do not coast: they dig deep, bringing to vivid life a remarkable array of subjects, experiences, emotions, and interior worlds. These poems summon quotidian encounters, sometimes conferring them with unexpected beauty, sometimes breathing new and sudden problems into them. O’Meara’s sparse language lifts the veil on our human failings, the limits of our vision, and in so doing satisfies.



a chest-up photo of Nduka Otiono, sitting in a black chair in front of a white background.

Nduka Otiono is Associate Professor and Director of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada. He is the author and co-editor of several books of creative writing and academic research including Oral Literary Performance in Africa: Beyond Text (2021). Prior to turning to academia, he was for many years a journalist in Nigeria and General Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors. His research has appeared in top-ranked journals, and his creative writing books include his recently re-issued debut, The Night Hides with a Knife, which won the ANA/Spectrum Prize for Fiction; Voices in the Rainbow (poems), which received Honourable Mention for the ANA/Cadbury Poetry Prize; and Love in a Time of Nightmares, for which he was awarded the James Patrick Folinsbee Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing. His professional honours include a Capital Educator’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; Carleton University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Early Career Award for Research Excellence; Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship; and Black History Ottawa Community Builder Award. Otiono is President of the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) and member of the board of directors of the Canadian Authors Association. DisPlace: The Poetry of Nduka Otiono, is his most recent book published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press.


The judges said:the cover of DisPlace is mainly black, with the title and author’s name as well as the phrase “selected with an introduction by Peter Midgley” written in the upper right corner. In the bottom left corner is an image made of three panels of white backgrounds with red circles drawn on the very bottom and black graffiti-like sketches drawn over the rest of the white; on top of these backgrounds are three draw figures with heads that are made of a blue mickey-mouse-shaped three-part bowl, a small mask with brown hair and beard, and a green mickey-mouse-shaped shaped three-part bowl.

Otiono’s edited collection of poetry reflects consummate diasporic writing, as at ease in Lagos as in Edmonton. Crafty and aware, these poems give us Otiono’s take on history, global petroleum, national politics, but also spend valuable time musing on tradition, literature, and love. Beyond the poems themselves—which churn with linguistic play, rhythmic force, and searing insight—this volume includes helpful commentary and a thoroughly illuminating interview between Otiono and Chris Dunton. Wonderful poetry from a poet who is already internationally important.



The full list of books nominated for the 2022 Archibald Lampman Award:

Repointing the Bricks by Jacqueline Bourque (Mansfield Press)
buckled into the sky by Adele Graf (Guernica Editions)
Becoming History by Blaine Marchand (Aeolus House)
Masses On Radar by David O’Meara (Coach House Books)
DisPlace: The Poetry of Nduka Otiono by Nduka Otiono, selected with an introduction by Peter Midgley (Wilfrid Laurier University Press)
Things You Need to Hear Most by Samukele Ncube (self-published)
Through the Waspmouth I Drew You by Nicola Vulpe (Guernica Editions)
Bricolage by A. Garnett Weiss aka JC Sulzenko (Aeolus House)



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