Poet Sarah Ens wins national book award

October 5, 2023 | News | Volume 27 Issue 20
A.S. Compton |
Sarah Ens. (Photo by Lynette Ens)

Manitoba writer Sarah Ens has won the national ReLit Award (poetry category) for her book Flyway. ReLit is hailed by the Globe and Mail as “the country’s pre-eminent literary prize recognizing independent presses.”

Flyway (Turnstone Press, 2022) is a single, long poem that follows the connections between the Russian Mennonite diaspora and the disrupted migratory patterns of grasslands birds, drawing on eco-poetics and family history. While writing, Ens visited the Manitoba Tall Grass Prairie Preserve for the first time. With grass up to her shoulders she says the poem felt very alive.

She told Canadian Mennonite that her favourite lines from the book are: “In my Oma’s margins: How do you remember home?” and “Birds, like poems, follow the river.”

Ens is currently working on a sound installation adaptation of Flyway with musician and artist Jami Reimer. She’s also working on a far-off collection of essays. 

Sarah Ens. (Photo by Lynette Ens)

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