The 2023 Toronto Book Awards jury members are reading through a small mountain of titles from which they will select a longlist in mid July. The shortlist will be revealed in early September. The grand prize winner will be announced on Wednesday, October 4, at a public event inside the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram and Bluma Appel Salon.

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Meet the 2023 Jury

Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm is a writer, poet, spoken word artist, publisher, Indigenous arts activist and Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Indigenous Literatures and Oral Traditions at University of Toronto Scarborough. Her publications include fiction, nonfiction, radio commentaries and plays, libretti, a graphic novel, two spoken word albums, a chapbook, a full-length collection of poetry and a volume of her collected poetry. Kateri is a member of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation in Ontario and the mother of two creative and wonderful boys.

Jamila-Khanom AllidinaJamila-Khanom Allidina is a writer and editor living in Toronto. Her short fiction has appeared in Room Magazine, The Puritan and other publications. She holds a Master in Fine Arts from Columbia University.

Steven W. BeattieSteven W. Beattie spent more than 12 years as Review Editor at Quill & Quire, Canada’s magazine of the publishing trade industry. His writing and criticism have appeared in The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Walrus, Canadian Notes & Queries and elsewhere. He maintains the literary website That Shakespearean Rag.

Sue CarterSue Carter is the Deputy Editor at Inuit Art Quarterly and the former Editor-in-Chief at Quill & Quire. She frequently writes about culture for several publications and teaches writing and editing for magazines at Centennial College.

karen leekaren lee is the grand prize winner of the 2020 Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize, PRISM international and received a fellowship from Cave Canem. Her work has been published in The New Quarterly, Room, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, The Humber Literary Review, Brick/Brickyard, anthologized in Watch Your Head: Writers and Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis, and the 2018 Small Axe Literary Prize shortlist. Tekkin Back Tongue, her first poetry manuscript, is named after her self-directed writing residency in Ghana in 2018; lee also conducted self-directed writing residencies in Kenya in 2021, Germany and France in 2022. lee is a Jamaican Patwah court interpreter, voiceover artist/actor, vocalist and poet.