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The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild congratulates Sylvia Legris on receiving the 2018 Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence

The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild was proud to host the luncheon award ceremony for the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence on September 11, 2018 at the German Cultural Centre, 160 Cartwright St. East, Saskatoon. Jack Walton, President of SWG, emceed the event and Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg presented the award to Sylvia Legris. His Honour the Honourable W. Thomas Molloy, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, and Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark brought greetings and congratulations. Sylvia Legris gave a short thank you speech and a reading of recent work after the announcement.

The award honours a Saskatchewan writer who has written a substantial body of acclaimed literary work. It carries a prize of $10,000 and a framed limited edition print of a painting by Saskatchewan artist Dorothy Knowles.

Jury Citation: “This year’s recipient of the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence is Sylvia Legris. As a poet Ms Legris has authored an outstanding body of work in a form that both celebrates and interrogates forms of knowledge and knowing. Her poems, luminescent and taut, reside in a depth of time that speaks dynamically to where we've been and where we’re going. Winner of the 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s Saskatchewan Artist Award, the 2012 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award, and the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize (among other accolades), Ms Legris has a strong national and international profile. She is also a vital contributor to the arts in Saskatchewan, having mentored aspiring writers through some of the province’s most esteemed literary establishments: the University of Saskatchewan’s MFA program, Sage Hill Writing, the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, and Grain Literary Magazine. 

Ms Legris’ commitment to the vitality of language and the explosion and expansion of meaning are proof of a writer working in her prime. Her nominator aptly hailed her recent work as consisting of poems that ‘are borne of rigorous erudition and… startlingly lyrical’, adding ’Sylvia can take us through the very pulse and texture of our bodies and do so with considerable learning, wit, and poetic grace.' This award celebrates her excellence.”

This prestigious award was established in May 2010 by Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg, lawyers by profession, but philanthropists at heart. The three Honorary Patrons of the Award are: His Honour the Honourable W. Thomas Molloy, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan; His Worship Charlie Clark, Mayor of the City of Saskatoon, and Dr. Peter Stoicheff, President of the University of Saskatchewan. 

The Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence is one of the most lucrative provincial awards in Canada. 


Winner Biography: In 2016, the online journal Culture Trip ranked Sylvia Legris as number one on its list of “10 Criminally Underrated Canadian Poets.” Sylvia Legris’ most recent book is The Hideous Hidden, published by the venerable New York publisher New Directions in 2016. Publishers Weekly says of The Hideous Hidden that, in Legris’ hands, “Anatomical and medical language…becomes sensuous musical terrain.” Her other collections include Pneumatic Antiphonal (2013), published as part of New Directions’ acclaimed Poetry Pamphlet Series, and Nerve Squall, her third book, winner of both the 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize and the 2006 Pat Lowther Award. Among her other awards are the 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s Saskatchewan Artist Award and, in 2012, the Canada Council’s Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for outstanding achievement by a mid-career writer. Sylvia Legris’ poetry has been a finalist three times for a National Magazine Award, and has also won the Malahat Long Poem Prize and the Bliss Carman Poetry Award. Her work has appeared in prestigious publications such as: The New Yorker, Granta, Poetry, Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, and The Walrus. The international journal Music & Literature will be publishing a critical portfolio focused on Legris’ writing in an upcoming issue. Sylvia Legris recently taught at the Sage Hill Writing Experience. She has been a mentor in the University of Saskatchewan’s MFA in Creative Writing Program as well as the SWG’s Mentor Program. She is a former Virtual Poet-in-Residence for Arc Poetry Magazine and a former editor of Grain Magazine. Legris hails from Winnipeg but is a longtime resident of Saskatoon. 

Contact: Yolanda Hansen, Program Manager, Saskatchewan Writers' Guild
Phone: 306-791-7743

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