Sonnet L’Abbé is a mixed-race Black writer, professor, organizer and emerging musician of Afro-Guyanese, Indo-Guyanese, and Québecois ancestry, and the author of three collections of poetry: A Strange ReliefKillarnoe, and Sonnet’s ShakespeareSonnet’s Shakespeare was a Quill and Quire Book of The Year for 2019, was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Raymond Souster Award, and longlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Their chapbook, Anima Canadensis, won the 2017 bp Nichol Chapbook Award. In 2000, they won the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award for most promising writer under 35. In 2014, they were the guest editor of Best Canadian Poetry in English. L’Abbé lives on Vancouver Island and is a professor of Creative Writing and English at Vancouver Island University.

L’Abbé is jointly represented by Léonicka Valcius and Stephanie Sinclair.


“The most audacious volume of poetry to appear in 2019 … Conceptually bold, linguistically inventive, and thematically weighty, Sonnet’s Shakespeare invites its readers to ask themselves who decides which figures appear at the centre of poetic tradition and which are consigned to the margin, and to struggle with what erasure ultimately means.”

Quill and Quire – 2019 Books of the Year: Editors’ picks

“A tour de force of humour, beauty, fury, grief, and rage.”

Sonnet Fever: Sonnet L’Abbé’s Sonnet’s Shakespeare (Arc Poetry Magazine) – Kim Trainor

“Taking on Shakespeare’s sonnets is an act of massive literary hubris. To be done well, it requires a scholar’s level of engagement and a revolutionary’s distrust of established practice. The fact that poems like this one also let us in on the hesitation, frustration, and hope that accompanies the project reveals a level of mastery that I truly admire. … I don’t think I can read Shakespeare’s sonnets again without carrying Sonnet’s Shakespeare along as a challenge, a companion, and a guide.”

            How A Poem Moves: “CXXVII” by Adam Sol