This is way better than an Oscar!

1st PlacePolitics’n’Poetry would like to thank everyone who supported the Canadian F-word Blog Awards, and most especially Pale and Prole at A Creative Revolution, for taking on the task of making them happen! I have to say that I am more than impressed that my suggestion for a feminist blog award category in another awards forum resulted in something so much better than one simple award! Special thanks as well to media women, Antonia and Heather, for their support and their strong feminist voices in the mainstream media.  Inspiration and breaths of fresh air, those two are!

Politics’n’Poetry would also like to thank all those who voted for P’n’P in the CFBA rounds of voting. Thanks to you we snagged 1st Place in the Best Environmental Blog category and this ecofeminist is pretty durned happy about that!  It is very validating to know that the work one does is appreciated.

Finally, P’n’P would like to congratulate all the winners and nominee in the CFBAs.  It is awesome that we have so many fantastic feminist bloggers in Canada!  I look forward to reading those I do not already know.  Oh, and the Winners List is here.

CFB Awards: Nominations are Open!

Head on over to A Creative Revolution and nominate your fave feministas in the 1st Annual Canadian F-word Blog Awards!

Best Canadian Feminist Blog

Best International Feminist Blog

Activist Blog

Environmental Blog

Entertainment Blog

Culture Blog

Group Blog

Individual Blog

WOC-centered Blog

Reproductive Liberty Blog

Family Blog

Political Blog


Humour blog

Best comment thread

The “why the fuck didn’t I say that?” award for most poignant comment

Best Snark Comment

Most Regressive “Progressive”

The Support Bro – Best Post by a male in support of feminists/feminism

Nobel Laureates’ Letter to PMS

There’s so much going on on the SWC front. Below is something I missed earlier. It’s a copy of a letter sent to PMS by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, a recently-formed group of women Nobel Peace Laureates who want to help strengthen work being done in support of women’s rights around the world – work often carried out in the shadows with little recognition. The letter, a beautiful counter to Harper’s war on women, is courtesy of

Nobel Laureates write Harper

6 December 2006

Honorable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Canada

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

We women Peace Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative are writing to express our concerns about recent decisions which may jeopardize the historic efforts by Canada to achieve women’s full equality, at home and abroad. On December 10th, International Human Rights Day and the 25th anniversary of Canada’s ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, we will stand in solidarity with women’s organizations across Canada in urging you to honour and respect international and domestic human rights commitments.

December 10 also marks the end of the international campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, begun on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his message on November 25, called on Member States to “do more to implement the international legal and policy framework to which they have committed themselves.” We encourage you to heed his appeal, and that of women across Canada and the world.

As international advocates for peace and women’s rights, for many years we have relied on the Canadian government’s leadership on these issues in the international arena. Canada has put in place a number of key domestic safeguards, and has an internationally acclaimed human rights legacy to its name. It is the apparent roll-back of this leadership through recent decisions by your government that we find very disturbing and why we feel it is important to share our preoccupations directly with you.

Despite important progress for some women over the last 50 years, women’s inequality is systemic and deeply entrenched in every country in the world. Your government could send a strong signal of the intention of Canada to still be a leader in promoting women’s rights by insuring that the newly proposed UN agency for women is fully financed and autonomous of UN bureaucracy — along the lines of UNICEF, for example. We hope we can continue to count Canada among the world’s leaders in defending and promoting women’s equality worldwide.


Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Rigoberta Menchu Tum,
Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai

Article re Legris

Visit the Globe and Mail quickly to read the full article acknowledging Canada’s new superstar poet disappears behind their pay-wall.  Here’s the teaser:

A poet’s winning season

Sylvia Legris’s break-out book won the Griffin, and her life may never be the same

From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail

SASKATOON — At the beginning of this month, Sylvia Legris’s quiet poet’s life was dramatically altered when she won the coveted 2006 Griffin Poetry Prize. Three times is apparently a charm, since it was her third book of poetry, Nerve Squall (Coach House Books, 2005), that garnered top honours.

Recently Legris and I shared a discreet upstairs booth at Grandma Lee’s Bakery in downtown Saskatoon. It’s her favourite haunt, she says, because it’s low-key and serves great Rice Krispy squares, but she’s a bit on edge. Since the Griffin gala on June 1, Legris has hit the poetry jackpot, been inundated with attention and been run over by a scathing critic.

It’s inequality, love

Wimbledon is underway this week.  And the women who will still win less than the men who win.

From The Guardian

Monday June 26, 2006
The Guardian

For Venus Williams, who is defending her women’s title again this year, it’s a travesty. She has been vociferous in her attacks on the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club over the issue: on the eve of the championship she is still smarting over the announcement made earlier this year that the winner of the men’s competition will get £655,000, while the winner of the women’s will net less – £625,000.

It was, she tells the Guardian, a disappointment. “For us it’s not about getting paid because all the players love what we do, and that’s playing tennis. For us it’s about equality, it’s about treating a human as a human, no matter what the sex is, and it’s about women all over the world. It’s a bigger picture than tennis . . . it’s about a premier women’s sport setting an example all around the world.” In the coming contest, she says, she and her fellow women players will “do our best to show we’re equal on all fronts”.

So, a woman’s victory is worth  £30,000 less than a man’s and that’s because

“We believe that what we do at the moment is actually fair to the men as well as to the women,” says club chairman Tim Phillips. He says that because men play five sets to the women’s three, the top men rarely play doubles and so earn less overall than women.

“It just doesn’t seem right to us that the lady players could play in three events and could take away significantly more than the men’s champion who battles away through these best-of-five matches.”

Oh, these old boys are just too, too much!

“It’s bullshit,” says Martina Navratilova, the nine-times Wimbledon champion who hasn’t grown mellow with the years. “How can anyone not feel strongly about this? Whenever there is inequality it doesn’t matter whether it is a penny or £100,000. It is about the principle – and the principle is wrong.

“We are willing to play five sets, but they won’t let us. Maybe the men should play three. After all, who wants to sit through a five-hour sporting event, unless it’s a Test match? It is quality, not quantity. Women’s rallies actually last longer so the ball is in play for longer . . . so maybe we should be paid more.

Thanks to brebis noire @ B&R for the lead.

Canadian Poetry Awards

The official notice is now online, but I've heard it first via someone who was there.  Suzanne Buffam won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for Best First Book of Poetry for her collection, Past Imperfect.

Past Imperfect
Suzanne Buffam

The debut poetry collection by the winner of the 1998 CBC Literary Award.

There is the heartbreak tied to human love and there is heartbreak that points to notions of the divine. The poems in Suzanne Buffam's début collection, Past Imperfect, enter the darkness of both — at times simultaneously — giving utterance to the breakage and shards of weak light found therein. Employing humour and directness to equal effect, Past Imperfect admits the self is fluid; so we wave farewell to many "selves."

These are poems of great intensity, driven by intelligence, tracing the barely knowable contours of a soul-in-progress. In a voice as confident, elegant, and vivid as it is brimming with doubt, Past Imperfect employs recurrent images like echoes or quiet obsessions. These become totems of absence, of presence, of the potential "other," or simply, of the world as it is: breathtakingly beautiful, refusing to minister to our solitude.

And Saskatchewanian, Sylvia Legris, comes home a winner again, bringing along the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for best book by a woman for Nerve Squall, her third book of poetry.

Nerve Squall

By Sylvia Legris
ISBN: 1552451607 Price: CDN $16.95
Pages: 128
Format: Paperback
Published: Fall, 2005


traffic jam: corkscrewing

the only way out.

Nerve Squall is a field guide like no other, a surreal handbook to a landscape at the crossroads of meteorology and neurology, where the electrical storms without and the electrical impulses within converge.

Legris’s fascination with weather, ghosts and brain disorders is the starting point for a collection of poetry that ensures you’ll never look at nature the same way again. You’ll find snow golems and ghost cats, and a sky filled with fish swimming the winds of a storm. And you’ll find a haunted terrain where the natural world becomes an allegory for our most intimate fears.

Despite their dark and often cinematic approach, these poems are also tinged with a sly, apocalyptic wit that can’t help but laugh as the sky falls.

Nerve Squall is a vital exploration of the symbiosis of storm, nerve and language, a sure-handed guide to the end of the world.

‘Legris loves language, the way it radiates, not just for what it can say by syntactic regularity and accumulation, but for its cellular resonances … Powerful resonance is created over a whole page with a minimum of words, in a sculpture that hardly qualifies as verse as we commonly know it. But there is no question that it is poetry, and [that it] is the use of words at its most pared. Here is Legris’ brilliance, her knife-edged attention at its finest.’ – Open Letter

The awards were handed out in Ottawa on June 10 at the League of Canadian Poets Annual General Meeting. Each award carries a $1,000 prize. Congrats to both poets!