George Elliott Clarke, Canada's new Parliamentary Poet Laureate, to mentor unpublished writers as judge of national poetry contest

TORONTO, March 23, 2016 /CNW/ - George Elliott Clarke, former Toronto Poet Laureate and Canada's new Parliamentary Poet Laureate, will serve as judge and mentor of this year's Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest.

Created in 2012, the Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest is an opportunity for unpublished Canadian writers to enter an original poem in this annual national poetry competition. Each year the contest spotlights promising new writers and its top three winners are mentored by acclaimed Canadian poets who serve as contest judges.

Past judges and mentors have included Catherine Graham (2012), Shannon Bramer (2013), Catherine Owen (2014), and Stuart Ross (2015). In its inaugural year, 2012, Vancouver's third Poet Laureate, Evelyn Lau, served as the contest's Honorary Patron.

"The contest is very fortunate to have the affiliation and participation of some of Canada's finest poets as Honorary Patron, Judge or Mentor, and I am honoured and excited to announce that George Elliott Clarke, Canada's Parliamentary Poet Laureate, will be the contest's judge and mentor in 2016," says Heidi Stock, Founder and President of Aspiring Canadian Writers Contests Inc.

The Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest will accept contest entries from April 1, 2016 to June 1, 2016. Visit its website,, for entrant requirements and more information.

Contest winners will be announced on/around October 31, 2016 at which time the contest will also announce details about its 2016 publication of an anthology containing contest winning poems from 2012 to 2015 as well as interviews with contest winners, judges, and mentors from those years. The anthology will also include interviews with winners, judges, and mentors from affiliated contests (The 2014 Singer-Songwriter Mentor Experience and The 2015 Screenwriter Mentor Experience) as well as special guest interviews with leading industry professionals and insight into mentoring sessions in poetry, songwriting, and screenwriting from the book's Contributing Editor, Heidi Stock. Information about these affiliated contests can be found at

SOURCE Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest

For further information: Media contact: Heidi Stock‎,


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