Vancouver's Poet Laureate Evelyn Lau and acclaimed poet Catherine Graham support aspiring poets through new national contest

TORONTO AND VANCOUVER, March 28, 2012 /CNW/ - The Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest, an initiative to encourage and identify this country's promising new poets, launches April 1, during National Poetry Month, with the support of acclaimed poets Evelyn Lau (Honorary Patron) in Vancouver and Catherine Graham (Contest Judge) in Toronto.

From April 1 to June 1, the contest invites submissions of original poems from unpublished Canadian writers. Three winners will see their poems published on the contest website and their names listed in the Contests and Awards section of Quill & Quire. They will also benefit from a total of $1,000 worth of private online mentoring sessions with poet and writing instructor Catherine Graham. Graham is the author of four books of poetry. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals in North America, the United Kingdom and Ireland and has been frequently anthologized. An interview with the first-prize winner will be published on Allyson Latta's website, "Memoir Writing & More." Latta is a literary editor and instructor for University of Toronto, and the contest's Editorial/Media Adviser.

"I'm thrilled to launch this poetry contest that both recognizes and develops new talent," says contest founder Heidi Stock. "I believe this contest is unique in the combination of its focus on submissions from unpublished writers (age 19 and older), its national scope, and its mentoring prize. My goal is to inspire and encourage emerging poets, and to create a spotlight and opportunity for our contest winners."

Stock is President of Prospect Research Experts Inc., a grant research and writing firm, and Founder of Gift To A Star, a new initiative that recognizes and rewards exceptional staff and volunteers at Canadian charities.

Honorary Patron Lau, who has mentored new writers at University of British Columbia,

Simon Fraser University and Vancouver Public Library, says, "I'm pleased to support the Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest in its effort to recognize unpublished poets and develop talent through mentoring sessions with contest judge, poet Catherine Graham. Good luck to the contest entrants and this initiative in its inaugural year."

For further information:

Contest details: visit www.aspiringpoetscontest.org
Interview requests: contact Heidi Stock at heidi@aspiringpoetscontest.org
Catherine Graham: visit www.catherinegraham.com
Evelyn Lau: visit www.vancouververse.ca