Sid Marty’s remarkable talent and unwavering dedication to the art of poetry and prose
is a testament to the late Al Purdy’s profound influence on Canadian literature

Eurithe Purdy proudly announced today that Sid Marty has been awarded the prestigious Al and Eurithe Purdy Poetry Prize, a new prize recognizing the best poetry book by a Canadian author published in 2023 in the English language. The $10,000 award recognizes Marty’s exceptional poetry collection, Oldman’s River: New and Collected Poems (NeWest Press). This comprehensive collection, featuring a foreword by Kit Dobson and Owen Percy and an interview by Pamela Banting, merges both familiar and unpublished works in a celebration of a Western Canadian icon’s career and artistic legacy.

Of Sid Marty and Oldman’s River, Eurithe Purdy said: “I am very pleased to present the inaugural Al and Eurithe Purdy Poetry Prize to Sid Marty for his 2023 book, Oldman’s River. Sid Marty is a plain-spoken poet with a distinctive Canadian voice very much in the Purdy tradition. In fact, he was a good friend of Al’s and got his first big break when Al included him in the landmark anthology Storm Warning: The New Canadian Poets in 1971. Since that time, Sid has continued to make consistently high-quality contributions to Canadian writing, both in prose and poetry. Oldman’s River: New and Collected Poems is a major work bringing together the best of Sid’s poetry over more than fifty years, as well as impressive new writing. It is a very worthy recipient of the first Al and Eurithe Purdy Poetry Prize.”

Renowned for his intimate, lyrical poetry, Sid Marty’s portrayal of individuality, deep-rooted connections to landscapes, and profound engagement with Canadian environmental issues have established him as a distinctive and dissenting voice in Canadian literature. His poetry and prose, often echoing the essence of the Western vernacular, beautifully captures the myriad experiences of rural life—from the joys and sorrows to the vast landscapes of the prairies, foothills, and mountains in Alberta and British Columbia. He has authored five nonfiction and five poetry books, drawing inspiration from his time as a park warden in the Rocky Mountains. Two of Sid Marty’s nonfiction books, Leaning on the Wind and The Black Grizzly of Whiskey Creek, were finalists for the Governor General’s Award and his book Men for the Mountains was twice cited by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Association as one of the fifty most influential books in the Canadian conservation movement. Early poems published in Al Purdy’s Storm Warning anthology led to his first poetry collection, Headwaters, published in 1973. His poems appear in many Canadian anthologies, including The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse and a number of school textbooks. Born in England, he was raised from infancy in Alberta and lives near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

The Al and Eurithe Purdy Poetry Prize, established to ensure the enduring legacy of Al Purdy’s literary contributions, will continue to honour exceptional Canadian poets in the years ahead. Eurithe Purdy’s vision, marked by an endowment securing a $10,000 annual prize, aims to foster a lasting appreciation for poetry excellence in Canada.



For more information or to schedule an interview with Sid Marty,
please contact Fernanda Viveiros at