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March 31, 2004
Poet laureate Dennis Lee wins library's fourth annual award
Dennis Lee, the City of Toronto's poet laureate, was awarded the fourth Toronto
Public Library Celebrates Reading Award at a news conference at the Toronto
Reference Library this afternoon.

"Dennis Lee's remarkable writing has contributed enormously to Toronto's
literary scene," says City librarian Josephine Bryant. "In addition to becoming
Toronto's first poet laureate, he has spellbound millions of readers worldwide
with his poems and stories."

The Toronto Public Library's annual award honours individuals, organizations or
corporations who have made an outstanding contribution to the enjoyment of
reading. Previous winners include Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark - the
creators of Franklin (2001), author Ken Oppel (2002) and TV Ontario (2003).

Named Toronto's first poet laureate in 2001, Dennis is the critically acclaimed
author of numerous award-winning books of poetry for adults and children, the
co-founder of the House of Anansi and former poetry editor for McClelland and
Stewart. He received the Governor General's Award for poetry in 1972 and the
Vicky Metcalf Award for a body of work for children in 1986. Some of his
well-loved titles include Alligator Pie, Jelly Belly, Garbage Delight and
Bubblegum Delicious.

In addition to awarding Dennis the 2004 Toronto Public Library Celebrates
Reading Award, Toronto Public Library also hosted a news conference to announce
the 2004 Trillium Award nominees. In the coming weeks, the library will
announce details of a reading event featuring short-listed writers prior to the
Trillium Awards ceremony held in early May.

Both events highlight the 120th anniversary of the Toronto Public Library.

In 1883, the Free Library by-law was approved by a huge majority of Toronto
voters. The Toronto Public Library officially opened in the Mechanics Institute
building at Church and Adelaide Street in March 1884. Toronto Public Library is
North America's busiest public library system with 98 branches. Every week more
than 300,000 people visit its branches and borrow more than half a million

Media Contact:
Edward Karek, Communications Officer, 416-397-5925



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