Fifty Gs For Your Poetries

March 30, 2011

[correction: please note that the Montreal Prize was not founded by a group called 'Literary Montreal'; there is no such group we're aware of. The Montreal Prize was founded by its directors. You can read about them here]

Anonymous Benefactor Establishes $50,000 Montreal Poetry Prize

A poet’s lot in life is a thankless one.

Scorned by the hard-working working classes, ignored by the twittering media, pestered by email spam and largely forgotten in the history books, poets can only find joy in having their work recognized by others—being asked to read, getting published and receiving prizes.

Often these are not even enough to make a poet truly happy in the first place, let alone act as a lasting source of inner joy.

All that has changed, though, with the announcement over the weekend of the $50,000 Montreal International Poetry Prize, a sort of early Christmas for the poets of the world.

Brainchild of an anonymous benefactor and the group Literary Montreal, the prize will be awarded to the best poem “written in any English dialect” submitted to the contest, whose final submission deadline is set for July 8.
Entries must be 40 lines or fewer—although entrants are allowed a “brief epigraph”—and, likely to discourage money-hungry poets worldwide from spamming the ten jurors into literary oblivion, an entry will set you back a cool $15 to $25, depending on where in the world you live and when you submit.

The selection board’s ten members, of which Concordia creative writing professor Stephanie Bolster is one, hail from five different continents (Antarctica and South America get the shaft here, though the group includes two Caribbean poets), and are tasked with winnowing the pool of submissions, which is sure to be massive, down to 150 poems—which will be published online in a longlist anthology—and then down to 50, which will be published in a printed shortlist anthology.

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