As the English Poet Laureate for the City of Ottawa, I am announcing today the commencement of an extraordinary poetry contest. All poets residing within the perimeters of the City of Ottawa or living in any of the Algonquin communities recognized by the Government of Canada as having rights as “Status Indians” are welcome to submit their poems into the contest for the consideration of a juror. The poets will express in a poem, their definition of what it is to be a human being. The title of the poem “I am a Human Being” may describe what occurs in the human heart when ‘love’ between two people is realized or tell about the stamina, eloquence and beauty of the human spirit. The poem you compose can perhaps speak of experiences you encountered in your lifetime which promote emotional wellness for the downtrodden or point to what it is, creating love and unconditional support for family members and for the dearest of friends. If you believe that ‘water is life’ and that all living things have rights, then express how you feel about that in a poem as only a human being can. Ultimately, it is your choice to make. You, as a poet, will decide the contents of your poem, describing in your own words what it is to be a human being. Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to get involved in making Ottawa a greater city. Get out your paper and pen!
• up to 20 lines of poetry (1 poem per participant)
• submit poem in ‘word’ or ‘pages’ format (written in English)
• submit to PoeticWaters@outlook.com
• Deadline: September 15, 2021 midnight
• Announcement of winners: October 1, 2021
• First prize is $300, second prize $200 and 5 runner-ups at $100 each.
Total prize money being offered $1,000!
The 100 best poems will be published in a book of poetry titled “I AM A HUMAN BEING”. The book will be sold with 100% of the proceeds going towards the promotion of poetry as a medicine and healer, not only for the citizens of Ottawa but for lovers of poetry wherever they are found.
Amazing wonders can come into your life as a poet. I urge you to write more poetry! Do it for healing’s sake. Do it as a special medicine. Let poetry become something of your medicine bag. Poetry can bring surprises into your life. It did for me!
Check out the poem I wrote to introduce the festivities for Canada Day. Here is the link: Canada Day 2021. I am so very proud of this special moment in my life! I believe Canadian Heritage took a bold stand in asking me, yes a poet but also a hardcore human rights activist, to compose a poem for this year’s Canada Day celebrations. It doesn’t pull any punches!
Keep the Circle Strong,
South Wind (Albert Dumont)