Literary Montreal is the source of
an audacious new literary prize announced late last week: the Montreal
International Poetry Prize, which will award $50,000 for a single poem of up to
40 lines written in English.
Billing itself the “World’s Largest Poetry Competition,” the prize is “designed
to bring more attention to poetry and to encourage people from all over the
world to enter their poems.”
is innovative about the prize is its encouragement of poems using “any English
dialect” and its openness to poets from all over the world, whether previously
published or not.
$50,000 is a gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. “We are currently
seeking a sponsor or patron for future years,” explains Peter Abramowicz, the
business consultant who is one of the Montreal Prize’s three founders; the
others are former investment banker and aspiring writer Len Epp and poet and
literary critic Asa Boxer.
Asked to comment on the audacity of launching a globe English poetry prize
in Montreal, Epp says, “It’s not necessarily audacious. It’s certainly
interesting. We think it’s a great thing for Montreal, not just for the
English-speaking community, and we hope that people will share our belief that
Montreal is a great cultural city.”
editorial board of distinguished poets includes Montreal’s Stephanie Bolster
and Michael Harris, former Montrealer Eric Ormsby, Australian John Kinsella,
Jamaican-born Valerie Bloom, Malawian Frank M. Chipasula, as well as the
Nigerian Odia Ofeimun, Mumbai poet Anand Thakore, Sinéad Morrissey from
Belfast, and London-born Fred D’Aguiar, who grew up in Guyana of Guyanese
early entry deadline for the competition is April 22, with a final deadline of
July 8, 2011. The editorial board will choose the top 50 out of the poems
submitted, and these will be published in print and in e-formats by Montreal’s
Véhicule Press in Fall 2011. The
winner of the inaugural prize, chosen by 2011 judge Andrew Motion, will be
announced in December.
more information on the Montreal International Poetry Prize, including entry
fees, contact Len Epp or visit http:/www.montrealprize.com.
[Also posted on the Globe Books "In Other Words" site on Monday, March 28, 2011.]
[And see: digital.montrealgazette.com/epaper/viewer.aspx]