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Congratulations to Sage Hill alumna Joanna Lilley
on being selected for the following two awards!

Winner of the Borealis Prize: The Commissioner of Yukon Award for Literary Contribution

Statement from the jury on the selection of Joanna Lilley:

“The 2021 Borealis Prize jury, for the Commissioner of Yukon Award for Literary Contribution, has selected writer and community builder Joanna Lilley. Joanna is a fierce advocate of Yukon writers and the writing community in general. She has been connecting with Yukon’s community of writers and promoting their work tirelessly since 2006. During this time, Joanna has also produced five professionally published books, including three poetry collections, a short story collection, and a novel. Joanna has invested deeply in the Yukon writing community and contributed significantly for 15 years to help forge a Yukon literary scene that is vibrant, creative and diverse. The jury is honoured to recognize Joanna Lilley’s outstanding contribution and exceptional commitment to the Yukon writing and publishing community. Congratulations Joanna.”

Joanna Lilley’s fifth book and third poetry collection, Endlings, was published by Turnstone Press in 2020 and won the Fred Kerner Book Award. Joanna is also the author of a novel, Worry Stones (Ronsdale Press), which was longlisted for the Caledonia Novel Award, and a short story collection, The Birthday Books (Hagios Press). Joanna’s other poetry collections are If There Were Roads (Turnstone Press), and The Fleece Era (Brick Books) which was nominated for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Joanna has an MLitt degree in creative writing from the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde and is a Humber School for Writers graduate. 


Born in the south of England, Joanna lived in Wales and Scotland before moving to Canada and has given reading and workshops as far afield as Alaska and Iceland. She now lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, where she’s on the board of Yukon Words and is very grateful to reside on the Traditional Territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.

Winner of the 2021 Fred Kerner Book Award

Joanna Lilley, Whitehorse, YT  
Endlings (Turnstone Press)

Judges’ Comments:

In Endlings, Joanna Lilley’s rich collection of lyrical and devastating poems, voice is given to the final moments of animal extinction. This book-length elegy to the planet’s lost species explores the ruinous impact humanity has had on the natural world while still managing to create wonder and hope.

This beautifully crafted collection of poetry is a remarkable yet sad tribute to all the species and sub-species we have lost. Joanna Lilley has sent us a new wake-up call – a cri de coeur that she calls Endlings.


2021 Sage Hill Autumn Poetry Reading

Thank you to everyone who joined Sage Hill for readings by 
Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer and special guests from the Poetry Colloquium! 

For those who weren’t able to attend or would like to share the experience with others, the event recording link is below. It will be available until September 20, 2021.

Event Recording:

(available until September 20, 2021)


Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer was raised on Saddle Lake Reserve and attended Blue Quills Residential School. Louise is married and has two adult children and three grandsons. She graduated with a Bachelor of social work from the University of Regina. She served as Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate for two years and has traveled extensively. She has served as “keynote speaker” at numerous conferences. Her books, Bear Bones and Feathers, Blue Marrow, The Crooked Good, and Burning In This Midnight Dream published by Coteau Publishers have all received numerous accolades and awards. All will be republished by Brick Books and Kegedonce. Sohkeyihta are selected poems published by Wilfred Laurier Press. Awasis – Kinky and Disheveled was released in the spring of 2021, and published by Brick Books. Louise received the following honorary degrees: Wilfred Laurier University, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, and the University of Saskatchewan and Mount Royal University – Calgary, Alberta. She serves as an Elder and consultant for various committees and departments at the University of Saskatchewan and other provinces.

Many thanks to our funders and sponsors: SK ArtsSaskCulture, Saskatchewan Lotteries, Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada & FriesenPress


2021 Sage Hill Summer Reading Series

Many thanks to everyone who joined us for the Sage Hill Summer Reading Series!



Thank you to 2021 Sage Hill Summer faculty for sharing their work!


Gratitude to Jordan Abel for the thoughtful Kroetsch Keynote.

Jordan Abel is a Nisga’a writer from Vancouver. He is the author of The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Un/inhabited, and Injun (winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize). Abel’s latest project NISHGA (forthcoming from McClelland & Stewart in 2021) is a deeply personal and autobiographical book that attempts to address the complications of contemporary Indigenous existence and the often invisible intergenerational impact of residential schools. Abel’s work has recently been anthologized in The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century (Hayward), The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry (Anstruther), Best Canadian Poetry (Tightrope), Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing Within the Anthropocene (Wesleyan), and The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation (ARP). Abel’s work has been published in numerous journals and magazines—including Canadian LiteratureThe Capilano Review, and Poetry Is Dead—and his visual poetry has been included in exhibitions at the Polygon Gallery, UNITT/PITT Gallery, and the Oslo Pilot Project Room in Oslo, Norway. Abel recently completed a PhD at Simon Fraser University, and is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta where he teaches Indigenous Literatures and Creative Writing.
Many thanks to our funders and sponsors: SK ArtsSaskCultureCanada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada, The League of Canadian Poets & FriesenPress.




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