"Established in 2001 by The Writers' Trust of Canada and a group of anonymous donors, the Matt Cohen Award is given for a lifetime of distinguished work by a Canadian writer, working in either poetry or prose, writing in either french or english who has dedicated his or her life to writing as a primary pursuit. Valued at $20,000, it is one of the richest literary awards in the country.
"Matt Cohen died of cancer in December 1999, at the age of 56. His first novel was published in 1969 and during his writing career he published 34 books, including novels, short stories, poetry and books for children. Cohen also worked for all Canadian writers through his long association with The Writers' Union of Canada. He was a founding member of the Union, and served as an executive member for many years"
2003: Fred Bodsworth
2002: Norman Levine
2001: Mavis Gallant