Talk about making your words count. The winner of the inaugural Montreal International Poetry Prize will pocket $50,000 for just one short poem.
The global English-language competition is organized by a new Canadian non-profit organization. MIPS is “committed to encouraging the creation of original works of poetry, to building cross-national readership and to exploring the world’s Englishes.” Overseen by an editorial board of international poets, the prize is administered by a staff of three — Peter Abramowicz, Asa Boxer, and Len Epp. While this year’s prize money was donated anonymously, it is the organizers’ hope that future competitions will be funded through participant fees and key sponsors.
This year’s prize judge is former U.K. poet laureate Andrew Motion. A 10-person jury, including Quebec poet Stephanie Bolster, will select the longlist, which will appear in an anthology to be published by Véhicule Press. A second shortlist anthology is also planned.
Poems must be unpublished and no longer than 40 lines. Entry fees are broken down into two categories, based on whether the writer’s home residence is a “developing nation” or a “developed nation,” as determined by the UN’s Human Development Index. Early entry deadline is April 22, and the final deadline is July 8.