Montreal International Poetry Prize

With Lorna Goodison, the 2017-2020 Poet Laureate of Jamaica, as the prize judge, the Montreal International Poetry Prize will open submissions for the 2022 competition in January. The jury comprises a vast and eminent range of writers, critics, and scholars from across the world, namely Cameron Awkward-Rich, Heather Christle, Nabina Das, Ariel Engle, Liz Howard, Joanne Limburg, Connor O'Callaghan, Tanur Ojaide, Michael Prior, Medrie Purdham, Mark Tredinnick, and Rhian Williams.

The winner of the 2020 competition is “Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center” by Victoria Korth. Here is an excerpt from the poem:

why I am unprepared for this cold fear
and rage—could I tear that grim museum
off the map, would that tear him, tear me in two—
no child should ever be there, or have been, no one.

You can read the full text of the poem and about the poet here.

To learn the details of the competition, the application process, and the selection terms, please follow this link.


The Montreal International Poetry Prize is now overseen by McGill’s Department of English. The competition for 2020, under the auspices of McGill English, drew nearly 5000 entries from more than 100 nations around the world. McGill English is proud to host this international poetry competition, which awards CAD $20,000 to a single poem of 40 or fewer lines.


Poetry Matters led the initiative of transferring management to the Department of English at McGill 2017-19. Founded in 2010 by Montreal poet and critic and McGill alumnus Asa Boxer,, the biennial Montreal Prize ran successful competition cycles in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. Past judges include Sir Andrew Motion, Don Paterson, Eavan Boland, and Michael Harris. For more on the migration of the Prize to McGill, see

Follow the Montreal International Poetry Prize on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

For more information on The Montreal Prize, including its history, mission, founders, and past competitions, please consult their website. The judge for the 2020 competition was Pulitzer prizewinning poet Yusef Komunyakaa.

For more information on The Montreal Poetry Prize Anthology, published by Véhicule Press, see their website.

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