Founded in 2010, the Montreal International Poetry Prize has established itself as a major event in contemporary poetry, both in Canada and around the world. The Montreal Prize Anthology 2020 explodes with talent, combining radiant vision with striking invention in form. The loss of a father finds equivalence in a tornado’s blowing an apartment open to the night sky. Sacred and profane images of a mother pile up in couplets, making a heap of gold. Family memory stirs in the dreamy measures of a sestina. Racial injustice is defied and reversed in the unflinching mirror of a palindromic poem. A doctor confesses her life work to be a striving to right the wrong done her father. These poems, a handful of the thousands submitted to the 2020 competition, were chosen for the lone virtue of their speaking directly to the reader, with conviction and with art.
In 2019, the founder of the Montreal Prize, Asa Boxer, transferred it to the Department of English at McGill University. A team of dedicated faculty and graduate students recruited a distinguished international jury, headed by Pulitzer Prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa, to judge the entries. This book is the result.