Poetry Video Contest

The Poet Laureate’s City Poems Contest is now moving into the poetry video contest stage in 2023! (Results of stage one of the poetry contest that was held January-June 2022 can be found here.) Poetry videos expand the reach of poetry by making it accessible to people across borders and backgrounds. They can allow a poem to be heard and also experienced through visual imagery, colour, pattern, sound effects, music, narration and more. They can extend and deepen the meaning of the poem  through the synergy of images, music, sound effects and the spoken or written word, creating something artistically original and unique.

This poetry video contest will involve students enrolled in pre-selected local public post-secondary film/digital arts/media/animation or related courses, including SFU IAT 344 (Moving Images),  UBC FNIS 454 (Indigenous New Media), ECUAD 2DN 211 (2D Animation) and ECUAD Film Studies, to work on short poetry videos based on a curated list of eligible poems. The eligible list of poems consists of several of the emerging and established category finalists’ poems from Stage One in 2022, along with some additional published site-based poems to ensure representation. All the poems deal with cultural, historical or ecological sites within Vancouver.  (Poets whose poems were shortlisted in Stage One of the City Poems Contest may also choose to collaborate with local public post-secondary students of their choice.)

Poet and former curator of Vancouver’s Visible Verse Festival, Heather Haley will be judging the poetry videos according to these criteria:

  1. Artistically deepens, extends and/or transforms the meaning of the poems through the synergy of sound, text, and/or image.
  2. Demonstrates creativity, originality, ingenuity and/or inventiveness.
  3. Engages viewers/listeners.  

There will be cash prizes for the winners and an audience choice award. Please stay tuned for the public screening of the shortlisted and award-winning poetry videos on Sunday, June 11th at the Museum of Vancouver! Some of the poetry videos may be made available for viewing on the VPL’s YouTube Playlist this spring and summer.

[NOTE:  Youth Poetry finalists from Stage One will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop to make their own poetry videos, which will not compete in the contest, but have a separate screening. Their poems may also be posted on the VPL’s YouTube playlist this spring.]

About Poetry Videos

Want to learn more about poetry videos? How to make them, where to find them, and what do they look like? Check out this resource page here. You can read this blog about the rationale behind making poetry videos too.

More information about the background of the two-stage City Poems Contest can be found here.