Priscila Uppal (1974-2018) was a Toronto poet, fiction writer, and professor. Among her publications were nine collections of poetry, including Ontological Necessities which was shortlisted for the 2006 Griffin Prize. Her poetry is philosophical and lyrical, always defiant and rooted in the day-to-day of intimate and social life. Uppal’s writing crossed genres and her craft shifted to suit the distinctive insights of her many works of poetry, fiction, theatre, and criticism. Uppal taught at York University and was a mentor to many young poets. She died in 2018 after a long struggle with synovial sarcoma, a rare form of cancer.
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Priscila Uppal Memorial Award for Poetry: Deadline to Submit
November 1, 2022, 11:59 PM EDT
“She was, as anyone who knew her will tell you, one of the true, great lovers of story. Priscila was the kind of woman you did not know you needed until she arrived. And I know she will keep on arriving in everything she’s left behind.” – Canisia Lubrin
Named “Canada’s coolest poet” by Time Out London, Priscila Uppal was a tour-de-force and her poetry was anything but sit-down, tame, or by the book. Priscila wasn’t afraid to wear wigs, be theatrical, and laugh at our beautiful and messy world.
The Priscila Uppal Memorial Award for Poetry is given to the single best poem submitted, along with a $500 cash prize and publication in Canthius. A runner-up also receives a $250 cash prize and publication in Canthius.
2022 Contest Dates: October 1st to November 1st 2022
Short List and Winners will be announced in late November 2022.
First Prize: $500 + publication in Canthius
Runner-up: $250 + publication in Canthius
Entry Fee: $25 (paid through submittable)
Entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Canthius, beginning with issue 11.
Submission guidelines are available on our Submittable page.
2022 Judge: Liz Howard
Liz Howard’s debut collection Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent won the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize, was shortlisted for the 2015 Governor General’s Award for poetry, and was named a Globe and Mail top 100 book. A National Magazine Award finalist, her recent work has appeared in Canadian Literature, Literary Review of Canada, Room Magazine and Best Canadian Poetry 2021. Her second collection, Letters in a Bruised Cosmos, was shortlisted for the 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize and the Trillium Poetry Prize. Howard received an Honours Bachelor of Science with High Distinction from the University of Toronto, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. She has completed creative writing and Indigenous arts residencies at McGill University, University of Calgary, UBC Okanagan, Douglas College, Sheridan College, and The Capilano Review. She is the 2022 Jake MacDonald Writer-in-Residence at the University of Winnipeg and the 2023 Shaftesbury Creative Writer-in-Residence for Victoria College (University of Toronto). She serves on the editorial board for Buckrider Books, an imprint of Wolsak & Wynn. She is of mixed settler and Anishinaabe heritage. Born and raised on Treaty 9 territory in Northern Ontario, she currently lives in Toronto.