New Montreal Prize to award $50K for poetry

A new, $50,000 prize aims to shine a light on English-language poets around the globe.
Acclaimed poet Andrew Motion will choose the inaugural winner of the Montreal Prize. (Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

A new, $50,000 prize aims to shine a light on English-language poets around the globe.

Organizers of the Montreal International Poetry Prize have enlisted former British poet laureate Andrew Motion to judge the inaugural edition of the Canadian-based competition.

Established through an anonymous donation, the Montreal Prize is designed to draw attention to poetry, with organizers "committed to encouraging the creation of original works of poetry, to building cross-national readership and to exploring the world's Englishes."

Founders of the Montreal Prize include poet Asa Boxer, businessman Peter Abramowicz and former banker and writer Len Epp.

Entries of unpublished poems — no longer than 40 lines and written in any English dialect — will be accepted as "early" entries until April 22. The final deadline is July 8.

Then, a 10-person editorial board — including Irish poet Sinead Morrissey, Canadian poets Stephanie Bolster and Michael Harris, as well as peers from Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean — will filter through the submissions to create a long list of candidates.

Véhicule Press will publish two collections from the submissions: an e-book collection featuring the long-listed candidates and another global anthology (to be published in print and e-book) focussing on the finalists.

The board will draw up a short list of 50 poems, with Motion to choose the eventual winner in December.