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Poem of the Year Contest

Who will write the Poem of 2013?


In 2013, Arc will be awarding one $5,000 grand prize to the Poem of the Year!


Dead­line: Feb­ru­ary 1, 2013


Con­test Guide­lines

Con­test Entry:
Entry fee is $32 (Cdn), which includes a one-year Cana­dian sub­scrip­tion of Arc*

Con­test entry fees may be paid online or by cheque or money order mailed with con­test sub­mis­sions.

*or two issues to US entrants, or one issue to over­seas entrants. Entrants who are cur­rently sub­scribers may pass along their con­test sub­scrip­tion or com­pli­men­tary issues to a friend. Please include the name and address to which the con­test sub­scrip­tion is des­tined.


  • All con­test sub­mis­sions must be sub­mit­ted by post mail.
  • All cheques or money orders must be in Cana­dian funds and made out to the Arc Poetry Soci­ety.
  • Arc wel­comes Poem of the Year entries from Canada, the United States, and around the world. Entrants out­side Canada must sub­mit entry fees in Cana­dian funds. Please include a cheque in Cana­dian funds, use the online pay­ment option or mail a money order in Cana­dian funds.
  • Entrants may sub­mit up to two unpub­lished poems with each $32 fee (extra poems: $5 per poem).
  • No email sub­mis­sions accepted.
  • Length of each poem must not exceed 100 lines.
  • Entrant’s name, address, e-mail and phone num­ber must not appear on the poems, but instead on a sep­a­rate sheet that also lists the titles of the poems entered.
  • Judg­ing is blind.
  • No entrants (includ­ing win­ners, hon­ourable men­tions, or authors of Editor’s Choice poems) may sub­sti­tute, before, dur­ing, or after judg­ing, a revi­sion of any poem already sub­mit­ted to the con­test.
  • No poems will be returned.

Dead­line: Entries must be post­marked no later than Feb­ru­ary 1, 2013.

Short­list: 50 short­listed poems, pend­ing per­mis­sion of their authors, will be eli­gi­ble for the Read­ers’ Choice Award. Visit this site between March 15 and April 15, 2013 to read our Read­ers’ Choice selec­tions and cast your vote!

Pub­li­ca­tion: Win­ning poems will be pub­lished in Arc’s Sum­mer 2013 issue

Pri­vacy Notice: Unless you indi­cate oth­er­wise, Arc may share addresses of entrants to the 2013 Poem of the Year Con­test with sim­i­lar lit­er­ary mag­a­zines or related orga­ni­za­tions for pro­mo­tional pur­poses.

Send entries to:

Poem of the Year Con­test
Arc Poetry Mag­a­zine
PO Box 81060
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada, K1P 1B1


Read press releases and win­ning poems from past con­tests.


Past win­ners

1st Prize Jacob McAr­thur Mooney The Fever Dreamer
Reader’s Choice Michael Fraser Going to Cape
1st Prize Anne Marie Tod­kill Wash Day
2nd Prize Mau­rice Mierau The impas­sioned ex-for­mal­ist Pulitzer Prize-win­ning wom­an­iz­ing alco­holic jumps off a bridge
3rd Prize Ian Williams Please Print Clearly in Block Let­ters
Reader’s Choice Bar­bara Pel­man Between the Heart­beats
1st Prize Shane Neil­son New Year’s Day
2nd Prize Bren Sim­mers Chick­ens
3rd Prize Lise Gas­ton Fuse
Reader’s Choice Susan Bra­ley Traces
1st Prize Patri­cia Young The Night of the Apoc­a­lypse Yah­weh Tin­kles the Ivories
2nd Prize Susan Buis In alabas­trine (Edith Lake)
3rd Prize E. Alex Pierce Com­mon Loon
Reader’s Choice Jim John­stone Cana­dian Gothic
1st Prize Patri­cia Young The Hick­ock Girls in the Front Pew Address the Platy­pus
2nd Prize Karen Solie Prayers for the Sick
3rd Prize Moez Surani Chop­ping Wood on Ivan’s Farm
Hon­ourable Men­tion Aurian Haller excerpt from Speech­less
Reader’s Choice Susan Sten­son To See You Like This
1st Prize Susan Elm­slie Box
2nd Prize Degan Davis Win­ter
3rd Prize Aurian Haller selec­tion from Seam­less
Final Judge

John Stef­fler

1st Prize Bren Sim­mers Out Walk­ing
2nd Prize Michael Reynolds Cas­tor Gulo (poem of a beaver becom­ing a wolver­ine)
3rd Prize Heidi Gar­nett Water Rit­u­als
Final Judge

Don Doman­ski

1st Prize San­dra Kas­turi Old Men, Smok­ing
2nd Prize Irene Liv­ingston Open My Draw­ers
3rd Prize Karen Hof­mann Cock Pheas­ant
Final Judge

Mil­dred Trem­blay

1st Prize Susan Sten­son The Crazy Maps
2nd Prize matt robin­son how we keep it together
3rd Prize Linda Rogers The Walled Gar­den
Final Judge

Lorna Crozier

1st Prize Harold Rhenisch Tao Hill
2nd Prize Jan­nie Edwards Blood Opera
The Raven Tango Poems
3rd Prize Deanna Young Swim­ming Lessons
Final Judge

Derek Wynand

1st Prize Mau­reen Scott Har­ris Be the River
2nd Prize Ali­son Pick Infant Aban­doned In High Park
3rd Prize Deanna Young Recent Sight­ings
Final Judge

Mary Dal­ton

1st Prize Joe­lene Heath­cote How the Dying Move to Water
2nd Prize Mau­reen Scott Har­ris The Drowned Boy
3rd Prize Pamela Swani­gan How to Win at Rummy
Final Judge

Steven Heighton

1st Prize Sue McLeod God of Pock­ets
2nd Prize Sue Wheeler Dark­en­ing
3rd Prize Michael V. Smith Par­tic­u­lars
Final Judge

Eliz­a­beth Philips

1st Prize Richard Lemm Rationed
2nd Prize Eliz­a­beth Philips Reply to the Min­is­ter of Lilies
3rd Prize Jim Roberts Myth, Rit­ual and the York­dale Clover­leaf
Final Judge

Brian Bartlett

1st Prize Wayne Tomp­kins Hid­den Reg­is­ter
2nd Prize Anne Simp­son Mean­while, in Ithaca
3rd Prize Donna Langevin My Son, Impro­vis­ing on the Vio­lin to Fauré
Final Judge

Patri­cia Young

1st Prize Mar­lene Cook­shaw Open and Close
2nd Prize Bar­bara Schott Blue Snow
3rd Prize Linda Rogers Ada­gio in G Minor
Final Judge

Barry Demp­ster

1st Prize Mil­dred Trem­blay Aston­ish­ing Cre­ations
2nd Prize Sue Wheeler Neg­a­tive Space, 1980
3rd Prize Sophia Kaszuba Good Food
Final Judge

Robyn Sarah


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