Montreal International Poetry Prize

June 23, 2011 09:35 ET

$50,000 Poetry Competition Seeks World's Best Poem

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 23, 2011) - A group of leading poets from around the world, including a former UK poet laureate, have joined forces in an historic effort to deliver a major new global poetry prize. Launched in March, and closing in early July, the nonprofit Montreal International Poetry Prize will offer $50,000 to the writer of a single original poem, limited to a maximum of 40 lines, written in any English dialect.

Uniquely for a major literary award, the names of all authors will be hidden from the editors, creating a level playing field for anyone who enters the competition.

Besides the $50,000 prize, what sets the Montreal Prize apart from other poetry competitions is its international team of editors. All ten are accomplished poets from Australia, Canada, England, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Malawi, Nigeria, Northern Ireland and the US. They will select 50 poems for the competition's shortlist, which will be published as a global poetry anthology (to be published in fall 2011), representing the very latest, newest work in poetry from around the world.

Andrew Motion, the 2011 prize judge and former UK poet laureate, will select the winner of the prize. The prize winner will only be announced after the global anthology is published.

The Montreal Prize will also engage an artist to create a broadsheet of the winning poem. "Poems don't need to be stuck on the page, bound in books and magazines. They can be returned to and enjoyed individually like paintings or art installations," explains Asa Boxer, poet and co-founder of the competition.

Funded in its first year by an anonymous 'catalyst' donor, the Montreal Prize is the brainchild of Boxer and Len Epp, formerly a London-based investment banker. "By founding a nonprofit literary award on a community-funding rather than a patronage model, we've worked hard to make the Montreal Prize an example of cutting-edge social entrepreneurship," says Epp, who also holds a doctorate in English from the University of Oxford.

For more information on the Montreal International Poetry Prize, visit

The final deadline for entering the competition is July 8.

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