headshot of Prof. Dionne Brand
Prof. Dionne Brand

University of Guelph English and Theatre Studies Prof. Dionne Brand has won the $20,000 Trillium Book Award for Ontario’s best English-language title.

Brand received the honour for her poetry collection The Blue Clerk, which was published by McClelland & Stewart.

The Ontario government established the Trillium Book Award in 1987 to recognize literary excellence and foster increased awareness of the quality of Ontario writing. Brand previously won the award in 1998 for her poetry collection Land to Light On.

This year, the Trillium Book Awards committee called Brand “an essential observer and one of the most accomplished poets writing today.”

The Blue Clerk was also shortlisted for the 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry. The League of Canadian Poets also longlisted the work for the 2019 Pat Lowther Memorial Award.

Brand, who is known for tackling social justice, gender and race in her writing, has earned several awards over her career, including the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry and the Pat Lowther Award for Poetry. She has also won the Harbourfront Writers’ Prize, the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Toronto Book Award.

In 2009, she served as poet laureate of Toronto and in 2017, was named to the Order of Canada.

Brand teaches poetry and prose in U of G’s creative writing MFA program.