Call for submissions: Don McKay Video Poem Contest

Don McKay Video Poem Contest flyerThere certainly are some interesting contests popping up these days. The Victoria Writers Festival in Victoria, British Columbia is sponsoring a contest for videos based on the poems of Canadian poet Don McKay.

Yes! To celebrate the publication of Angular Unconformity: The Collected Poems of Don McKay (Goose Lane Editions, 2014), we invite anyone with a camera and/or computer and a little editing savvy to create a video that “performs” any poem of Don McKay’s. You can easily find poems by this giant of Canadian poetry online, in bookstores and libraries, or hopefully on your own shelves. Prizes in two categories: Youth (under 18) and Adult.


1. Videos must be no longer than five minutes.
2. Videos must include the entire poem.
3. Don McKay MUST be credited as the writer in the film itself and in the video description at YouTube or Vimeo, along with the title of the book or magazine in which the poem appeared, the publisher, and the date of publication.
4. Know copyright. Get permission to use audio, video and photography, or ensure that what you use is in the public domain. Moving Poems has compiled details about fair use, and links to troves of public domain video and audio here: Web Resources for Videopoem Makers. Best yet, shoot your own material. (Don McKay has given his permission for his poems to be used in this contest.)
5. Upload your video to YouTube or to Vimeo and send us the link at Please note if you are entering as a Youth.
6. Have fun – Don does!

The deadline is November 1, and the festival takes place November 6-8. Click through for details about judges, entry fees, and prizes, as well as samples of McKay’s poetry.

I’m glad to see my web resources guide put to good use, but I’m especially delighted to see a regular writers festival creating a space for videopoetry. I think this is part of a growing, international trend for writing or poetry festivals to include a screening of poetry films. In a few more years, it may seem odd to put on a writing festival and not include film or video in some way.

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