Goose Lane Editions, along with the board of imprint icehouse poetry, are launching a new poetry prize in honour of Trinidadian Canadian poet Claire Harris.
The biennial Claire Harris Poetry Prize is open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents from Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities who haven’t previously published a full-length book of poetry.
The winner will receive a contract to publish their debut poetry collection under Goose Lane’s icehouse imprint, a $1,000 prize, and readings in at least three Canadian cities.
“This prize aims to reduce barriers for poets from Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities by giving emerging writers a new avenue that places a focus on their work,” said Ross Leckie, chair of the icehouse poetry board, in a press release. “We look forward to welcoming the winner into the icehouse poetry family.”
Poet Kazim Ali will serve as the inaugural judge. Submissions open on Jan. 2, 2024, and will close on March 31 of the same year. Details about the prize and eligibility are available online at gooselane.com.
The award honours the legacy of Harris, a generous mentor, provocative thinker, and singular voice in Canadian poetry. Harris is known for her adventurous verse; contrasting use of prose and poetry; alternating voices, ranging from British English to Trinidadian Creole; and visual experimentation.
During her career, Harris won the Commonwealth Award for Poetry for the Americas Region, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Award for Poetry, the Alberta Culture Poetry Prize, and the Alberta Culture Special Award.
Her most celebrated work, Drawing Down a Daughter, was a finalist for the 1992 Governor General’s Award for Poetry.