As the city’s new Poet Laureate settles in, she’s launching a new competition for young, emerging and established wordsmiths.
Fiona Tinwei Lam is Vancouver’s sixth Poet Laureate; part of that is creating a legacy project. In Lam’s case, it’s about creating the City Poems Contest. The competition focuses on sites in what is now known as Vancouver and the UBC Endowment Lands, she said in an email.
“Which historical, cultural or ecological sites in Vancouver intrigue, fascinate or inspire you? announces an announcement. “Perhaps this is the former village and burial site of Musqueam at c̓əsnaʔəm, a specific building in a historic district such as Chinatown or Hogan’s Alley, Deadman’s Island at False Creek, Hastings Park where Canadians from Japanese origin were interned during World War II, or Burrard inlet where 376 passengers on the Komagata Maru steamer lay at anchor for 3 months in 1914, were not allowed to disembark, or one of Vancouver Gardens, hidden streams, or remaining old trees?
Poets will have to submit original and unpublished material to enter the competition. There are other rules, which can be viewed on the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) website.
There are three categories for those who want to participate:
- Youth (persons in grade 12 or below)
- Emerging poets (those who have not published a book)
- Confirmed poets (those who have already published at least one book)
For each category, there are cash prizes of $300 for first, $200 for second and $100 for third.
The City Poems competition will launch on January 16; a special online launch event is held, with local poets reading their works, including Lam, as well as Joanne Arnott and Evelyn Lau. They will read some of their own poems about places in Vancouver.