The bpNichol Chapbook Award celebrates the work and life of bpNichol (1944–1988). Nichol is a preeminent Canadian poet who devoted his career to the expanded possibilities of language, creating visual and sound poetry within and in addition to his numerous books, which included the nine-volume lyric epic The Martyrology, several collections of short unconventional literary works, books of fiction, books for children, music-theatre works, and a posthumous collection of essays. Nichol was a champion of poetry in general and of small-press publishing in particular, as well as a mentor to many writers and an inspiring community builder. Towards the end of his life Nichol cofounded with Philip McKenna of the Phoenix Foundation a poetry-chapbook award which, after Nichol’s untimely death, was renamed in his honour and has continued under the aegis first of the Phoenix Foundation and currently of Meet the Presses.

More about Nichol and extensive offerings of his work in text, image, audio, and video can be found on the following and other sites:, PennSound,, and