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About the Award

The Matt Cohen Award recognizes a lifetime of distinguished work by a Canadian writer working in poetry or prose in either French or English. The prize was established in celebration of the life of Matt Cohen, a founding member of the Writers’ Union of Canada.

2022 Winner


Selection Committee Citation

“Born in the Peace River Country of northern Alberta, Candace Savage is the author of more than 20 books that define and extol the Prairie experience. Her seminal works of nonfiction include A Harvest to Reap: A History of Prairie Women (1976), Prairie, A Natural History (2011), and Strangers in the House: A Prairie Story of Bigotry and Belonging (2019). Her subjects range from individual studies of crows, ravens, grizzly bears, and bees to the disconnecting impact of cultural migration. Savage has been lauded for her works of nonfiction and for her children’s writing, and she was described by The Globe and Mail as ‘an essential Canadian voice.’”

Author Page
“Winning the Matt Cohen Award is a really significant and profoundly touching life-changing honour, and I thank you incredibly much.”

— Richard Wagamese

2015 Matt Cohen Award winner

About Matt Cohen

A founding member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, Mr. Cohen was a celebrated and prolific writer who died in 1999 at the age of 56. This prize was established in his name by a group of anonymous donors.


Lorraine Greey

Writers’ Trust thanks David and Marla Lehberg for their longstanding support of this prize.