Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life

Established by the WRITERS' TRUST OF CANADA, the Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life recognizes a lifetime of distinguished work by a Canadian writer working in either poetry or prose, in either French or English. The winner of this prize is announced annually at the Writers' Trust Awards event. The prize, created in 2000, is worth $20 000.

Matt COHEN was a GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD winning author and a founding member of the WRITERS' UNION OF CANADA. He wrote more than 30 books before his death in 1999 at the age of 56. In addition to his own creative work, Cohen was a life-long activist for authors' rights, creating the Public Lending Right program which pays authors for their participation in the public library system. The Matt Cohen Award was established in his honour by a group of anonymous donors.

All Canadian writers whose lives have been dedicated to writing as a primary pursuit, and who have a significant body of critically-acclaimed work, are considered. An independent committee selects the winner, and there is no submission process.

Recipients of the Matt Cohen Award include Mavis GALLANT, Norman LEVINE, Fred BODSWORTH, Audrey THOMAS, Howard ENGEL, Janet Lunn, Marie-Claire BLAIS, David HELWIG, Sylvia Fraser, and Paul QUARRINGTON.