Trillium Book Awards | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Trillium Book Awards

The Trillium Book Awards honour literary excellence in Ontario, Canada's most populous province and home to a great diversity of writers.
Hannah Moscovitch.
Image: \u00a9 Ian Brown Photography.
Atwood, Margaret
Atwood has explored the issues of our time, capturing them in the satirical, self-reflexive mode of the contemporary novel (photo by Graeme Gibson).
Timothy Findley, writer
Timothy Findley's writing displays a broad range of subject matter, always treated with imagination (photo by Sussi).
Dionne Brand, author
Dionne Brand reads at the 2010 International Festival of Authors (courtesy Harbourfront Centre).
Munro, Alice
Characteristic of Munro's style is the search for some revelatory gesture by which an event is illuminated and given personal significance (photo by Jerry Baker).

Creation and Evolution of the Award

The Trillium Book Awards honour literary excellence in Ontario, Canada's most populous province and home to a great diversity of writers. Founded in 1987 and awarded annually by the government of Ontario, the original Trillium Book Award is open to books of any genre: fiction, poetry, essay, drama, and children's literature. Winners receive a $20,000 prize, and their publishers receive $2500 for additional promotion of the title (see also Literature in English; Novel in English; Short fiction in English; English-Language Book Publishing).

Throughout the years the award has grown to become a constellation of awards. In 1994 the Prix Trillium was created (first awarded in 1995), a separate award for Franco-Ontarian writers and publishers (see also Literature in French; Novel in French; Short Fiction in French; Essay in French; Poetry in French; Drama in French; French-Language Book Publishing).

The $10,000 Trillium Book Award for Poetry was established in 2003 to recognize the work of emerging poets who have published up to three collections (in English or in French). However, in 2006, it was decided that the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in French would be awarded every two years; in alternating years the Trillium Book Award for Children's Literature in French is awarded.


Previous winners of Trillium Book Awards include renowned authors such as Michael Ondaatje, Timothy Findley, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and Daniel Poliquin.

1988: Michael Ondaatje (In the Skin of a Lion)

1989: Timothy Findley (Stones)

1990: Modris Eksteins (Rites of Spring)

1991: Alice Munro (Friend of My Youth)

1992: Margaret Atwood (Wilderness Tips)

1993: Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)

1994: Jane Urquhart (Away) and Margaret Atwood (The Robber Bride)

1995: English ‒ Donald Harman Akenson (Conor: A Biography of Conor Cruise O’Brien, vol. 1); French ‒ Andrée Lacelle (Tant de vie s’égare)

1996: English ‒ Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House) and Wayson Choy (The Jade Peony); French ‒ Maurice Henrie (Le balcon dans le ciel)

1997: English – Anne Michaels (Fugitive Pieces); French – Nancy Vickers (Le pied de Sappho) and Alain Bernard Marchand (Tintin au pays de la ferveur)

1998: English ‒ Dionne Brand (Land to Light On); French ‒ Roger Levac (Petite Crapaude!)

1999: English – André Alexis (Childhood) and Alice Munro (The Love of a Good Woman); French – Daniel Poliquin (L’homme de paille) and Stefan Psenak (Du chaos et de l’ordre des choses)

2000: English ‒ Alistair MacLeod (No Great Mischief); French – Andrée Christensen and Jacques Flamand (Lithochronos, ou, Le premier vol de la pierre)

2001: English – Don Coles (Kurgan); French ‒ Didier Leclair (Toronto, je t’aime)

2002: English – Richard B. Wright (Clara Callan); French – Michèle Matteau (Cognac et Porto)

2003: English – Austin Clark (The Polished Hoe) and Nino Ricci (Testament); French – Michel Ouellette (Le testament du couturier) and Éric Charlebois (Faux-fuyants)

2004: English – Thomas King (The Truth About Stories); English (Poetry) – Adam Sol (Crowd of Sounds); French – Serge Denis (Social-démocratie et mouvements ouvriers: la fin de l'histoire?) and François Paré (La distance habitée); French (Poetry) – Angèle Bassolé-Ouédraogo (Avec tes mots)

2005: English – Wayson Choy (All That Matters); English (Poetry) – Maureen Scott Harris (Drowning Lessons); French – Antonio D’Alfonso (Un vendredi du mois d’août)

2006: English – Camilla Gibb (Sweetness in the Belly); English (Poetry) – Kevin Connolly (Drift); French – Jean Mohsen Fahmy (L’Agonie des dieux); French (Poetry) – Éric Charlebois (Centrifuge: Extrait de narration)

2007: English – Mark Frutkin (Fabrizio’s Return); English (Poetry) – Ken Babstock (Airstream Land Yacht); French – Paul Savoie (Crac) and Daniel Castillo Durante (La passion des nomades); French (Children’s) – Françoise Lepage (Poupeska)

2008: English – Barbara Gowdy (Helpless); English (Poetry) – Rachel Zolf (Human Resources); French – Pierre Raphaël Pelletier (L'Œil de la lumière); French (Poetry) – Tina Charlebois (Poils lisses)

2009: English – Pasha Malla (The Withdrawal Method); English (Poetry) – Jeramy Dodds (Crabwise to the Hounds); French – Marguerite Andersen (Le figuier sur le toit); French (Children’s) – Paul Prud’Homme (Les Rebuts: Hockey 2)

2010: English – Ian Brown (The Boy in the Moon); English (Poetry) – Karen Solie (Pigeon); French – Ryad Assani-Razaki (Deux cercles); French (Poetry) – Michèle Matteau (Passerelles)

2011: English – Rabindranath Maharaj (The Amazing Absorbing Boy); English (Poetry) – Jeff Latosik (Tiny, Frantic, Stronger); French – Estelle Beauchamp (Un souffle venu de loin); French (Children’s) – Daniel Marchildon (La première guerre de Toronto)

2012: English – Phil Hall (Killdeer); English (Poetry) – Nick Thran (Earworm); French – Michèle Vinet (Jeudi Novembre); French (Poetry) – Sonia Lamontagne (À tire d’ailes)

2013: English – Alice Munro (Dear Life); English (Poetry) – Matthew Tierney (Probably Inevitable); French – Paul Savoie (Bleu bémol); French (Children’s) – Claude Forand (Un moine trop bavard)

2014: English – Hannah Moscovitch (This Is War); English (Poetry) – Souvankham Thammavongsa (Light); French – Marguerite Andersen (La mauvaise mère); French (Poetry) – Daniel Groleau Landry (Rêver au réel)

Selection of past winners: Trillium Book Awards

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