The Montreal International Poetry Prize is committed to encouraging the creation of original works of poetry, to building international readership, and to exploring the world’s Englishes.
Professor Michael Nicholson of McGill University’s Department of English and co-director of the Montreal International Poetry Prize wrote to Lone Star Lit this week to make sure Texas poets are aware of the upcoming entry deadline of June 1, 2020. “By accepting entries through an online application, organizing open-access poetry readings via Zoom, and publishing a global anthology (online and in print), the prize is reimagining poetry in a digital space,” says Nicholson.
The Montreal Prize, initially founded with assistance from Leonard Cohen, has this year been transferred to McGill University’s Department of English in Montreal, Canada. The prize awards $20,000 CAD to the writer of a single poem of forty or fewer lines. A jury of internationally reputed poets and critics select a shortlist of fifty poems, from which a judge chooses one winning poem. The shortlist of fifty poems is published in The Global Poetry Anthology, which will be published by Véhicule Press in Montreal.
More than 1,700 entries from fifty-three countries have already been received. Multiple submissions are allowed. The entry fee is $25 CAD (additional entries are $17 CAD). The prize’s cash award is crowdfunded from entry fees, and its digital application allows entrants to donate an entry fee to an unknown poet who cannot otherwise afford to enter.
After the final entry deadline, entries are randomly allocated to jury members. This year’s jurors hail from Canada, Australia, the US, the UK, Haiti, and India. The entries are allocated anonymously. Each entry is assessed by one juror only in order to preserve editorial independence. Each juror selects a handful of poems to advance to the next stage. Together, the jurors’ selections constitute the shortlist of approximately fifty poems.
This year’s competition judge is Yusef Komunyakaa, whose books of poetry include Taboo, Dien Cai Dau, Thieves of Paradise, Neon Vernacular (for which he received the Pulitzer Prize), Pleasure Dome, Talking Dirty to the Gods, Warhorses, The Chameleon Couch, Testimony, The Emperor of Water Clocks, and Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth (forthcoming 2020). His honors include the William Faulkner Prize (Université Rennes, France), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and the Wallace Stevens Award. His plays, performance art, and libretti include The Deacons, Wakonda’s Dream, Saturnalia, Testimony, Gilgamesh: A Verse Play, and Somewhere Near Here (Bright Darkness). He is Distinguished Senior Poet and Global Professor at New York University.
Enter a poem here https://www.montrealpoetryprizesubmissions.com/
The Montreal International Poetry Prize is committed to encouraging the creation of original works of poetry, to building international readership, and to exploring the world’s Englishes. “For many, entering the Prize in itself is not only an experiment in community building and altruism in the arts, but also an endorsement of a digital poetry network collectively working to disregard the limits of status, border, and stratification so often constraining major national prizes in the arts,” says Nicholson.
For more information about the Montreal International Poetry Prize, please visit https://www.montrealpoetryprize.com/