Shortlist Announced for Poet Laureate’s City Poems Contest!

Thank so much to all those who submitted poems to the City Poems Contest! I want to commend each and everyone who took the effort and made the time to submit a poem to the contest!

There were 252 poems submitted in total. Judges Rachel Rose, David Ly and Bonnie Nish carefully considered the eligible poetry submissions over the past few weeks, and compiled their shortlists. Like me, they were very impressed by the range and scope of the poems submitted! Below is the shortlist of the poems in alphabetical order by authors’ last names.

Please note: even if your poem was not shortlisted, this is not the end of the story. There may be the possibility of participating in a site-specific public reading, to record your poem for public access on the wonderful location-based PhoneMe app (which I will discuss in greater detail in the weeks to come), and of course to submit your poem to literary magazines and other contests. The judges had very specific criteria to consider in selecting the poems. Just because your poem was not shortlisted doesn’t mean your poem wasn’t interesting, engaging, or well-written.

The first, second and third place winners in each category will be announced at an Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 11th in the Alice MacKay Room downstairs at the Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, 2:30-4 pm, with doors opening at 2 pm. (Shortlisted authors have been contacted by email. All those who submitted eligible poems will receive a short note from me later in June.)


Patricia Chen, “Lost in Chinatown”

Katie Evans, “Revival”

Isabel Hernandez-Cheng, “Lotus Flower”

Debbie Li, “Lightless Fireflies”

Ya Xin Lu, “BBQ Meat Shops”

Nazifa Nawal, “Khupkhahpay’ay*: A Found Poem”

Sharon Pan, “Home at Vie’s”  

Crystal Peng, “In Google Maps, I explore Chinatown for the First Time”

Alice Stanciu, “The Town Where Time Stops”

Adrian Yue, “ending credits for an ending of chinatown”


Christina Barber, “Victory Square Lament” 

Sandra Bruneau, “Alma”

Harper Campbell, “Near Commercial”

Jeremy Chu, “Entertainment”

James Kim, “An Existence That We Can Call Home”

Vivian (Xiao Wen) Li, “The Garden, Echoes I”

Vivian (Xiao Wen) Li, “The Garden, Echoes II”

Angela May, “single mother on hastings”

Theresa Rogers, “the stone artist”

Donna Seto, “Contrasts”


Susan Alexander, “Seńákw”

Kelsey Andrews, “To the Otter Who Snuck into the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden and Ate the Koi”

Julie Emerson, “Stanley Park Fir”

Evelyn Lau, “Atmospheric River”

Barbara Pelman, “Congregation Beth Israel”

Leslie Timmins, “The Modest Contribution of Babies to the Protest at the Member of Parliament’s Office”

Diane Tucker, “Fat Vancouver Snow”