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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. All Canadian poets are considered.

The winner is selected by a three-member, independent judging panel and is announced annually at the Writers’ Trust Awards. The prize is generously sponsored by Latner Family Foundation.

2020 Winner

Armand Garnet

Jury Citation

“Armand Garnet Ruffo’s work covers poetry, scholarship, and film. His childhood fishing and hunting in the Northern Ontario bush with Ojibwe-/English-speaking relatives formed his connection to the land. Ruffo’s 1994 debut, Opening In The Sky, launched a career throughout which he has animated larger-than-life figures such as Geronimo, Grey Owl, and Norval Morrisseau while, at the same time, engaging profoundly with the daily lives of Indigenous people. His language is lucid and understated, and metaphor infuses his work with a larger understanding of the relationship of individuals to the time and place they inhabit. His most recent collection, Treaty #, demonstrates a poetic struggle with the English language and the colonial instruments which came with it. To quote Ruffo himself, his poetry aspires to ‘cut out a place for himself in the world.’ With each successive book, Ruffo has demonstrated increasing range, expertise, and grace, consolidating his claim to that place.”

— 2020 Latner WT Poetry Prize Jury (Marilyn Dumont, Susan Glickman, and Kaie Kellough)

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“This generous and kind gift for poetry will be forever engraved on the landscape of my heart.”

Louise Bernice Halfe

2017 Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize winner