CANADIAN POETS, POETRY PUBLISHERS Open Call Deadline, January 5, 2015

envoi_logo_pres_v22015 ENVOI POETRY FESTIVAL
MAY 31 – JUNE 7, 2015, THE FORKS,

young Pauline Johnson

Young Pauline Johnson


A festival of Canadian poetry celebrating Indigenous, Francophone, and western Canadian poets and spoken word artists, produced by the Envoi Literary Foundation, and Envoi Publishing and Productions is looking for poets, an poetry publishers.

The Envoi Poetry Festival (EPF) will be held at the historic Forks in Winnipeg, a meeting place of Indigenous, French and English cultures—our ancestors, our heroes, and a few villains as well.

Please send an email to [email protected] expressing your interest to present your work at the festival, a literary resume, including a list of publications and/or recordings and your website address. Publishers and poets are encouraged to send a copy of their most recently published book by surface mail to Envoi Poetry Festival, 300 – 245 McDermot Ave, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 0S6.

  1. Selection Criteria for Main Stage Events
  • Artistic excellence: Looking for mastery of the craft and originality. Innovation and inventiveness of themes and language is valued.
  • Ability to engage an audience for up to 30 minutes, with verve and enthusiasm, as we seek to build a larger poetry audience.
  • Substantial body of work:  Poets must have the equivalent of the criteria of the League of Canadian Poets for a body of work (a book or its equivalent by a recognized publisher, or a substantial body of published work in recognized journals, magazines, etc.) or the Canada Council for the Arts.
  • Spoken word and performance poets, and those working in the oral tradition, must have a substantial resume of performances, including performances at major venues.
  • French, western Canadian and Indigenous language and culture will be a core element of the program, but not exclusively. Think about the people who came to the linguistic, cultural and economic crossroads of the Winnipeg Forks.
  • Poetry for children is welcome.
  1. EPF Book Launch Opportunities for Publishers & Poets
  • There will be up to 10 opportunities for publisher supported book launches, at noon and late afternoon before Mainstage events begin.
  • EPF will provide venues while publishers will supply poets and promotion. Should demand exceed availability, selection criteria will focus on the timeliness of the publication date, with preference given to books published in 2014 and 2015. Publisher support for promotion of the title and the launch as well as the presence of at least one poet will also be taken into consideration.
  • Publishers may launch multiple titles (including non-poetry), as long as one poetry title or poet is included. Preference will be given to Indigenous, Francophone and western Canadian titles.
  • Poetry for children is welcome.


Forty years ago, the Manitoba Arts Council, under the direction of Marlene Neustaedter, and with the assistance of the Department of Education, supported rural and northern tours of poets following an annual meeting of the League of Poets in Winnipeg. I was 19, and one of the drivers. The Envoi Poetry Festival is seeking support for another tour, on a smaller scale, to ensure that poetry is available outside of Winnipeg during Manitoba Poetry Week.  Participation is open to all Canadian poets, with one or more Manitoba poet on each tour. If you are interested in being considered for the tour, please indicate in your email or cover letter.

EPF Poetry Outreach Program – Winnipeg
The EPF is planning a “Poetry Welcome Here” program, inviting Winnipeg downtown businesses and offices to purchase and post the promotional card, making them eligible for “Random Acts of Poetry, ” at street level. Random Acts of Poetry will be limited to 15 minutes and one or two poets, paid $50 for a shared presentation and $100 for the full 15 minutes. There could be as many as 15 different Random Acts of Poetry focused on Portage and Provencher Avenues, and Main Street. Audience members could chose to see one or two, taking some time off during a coffee break. Others might prefer to walk the avenue and like a progressive dinner, have a different sample at each location. Participation is open to all Canadian poets. If you are interested in being considered for Random Acts of Poetry, please indicate in your email or cover

EPF Poetry Outreach Program – Children and Young People
This program element is being developed for the Kidsfest weekend (June 5 – 7), at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People at the Forks). Participation is open to all Canadian poets. If you are interested in being considered for the children and youth outreach program, please indicate in your email or cover letter.

Payment of Artists Fees, Travel and Accommodation
EPF intends to provide artist fees to presenters at the festival, with the exception of book launches. Fees range from a minimum of $50 for participating in a Random Act of Poetry to a maximum of $250 for a full 45-minute reading. Proposals and sponsorships have been submitted to make this possible, though it’s unlikely EPF will be able to cover the travel and accommodation costs of more than 10-12 poets and spoken word artists performing at Mainstage events. EPF is working to expand this capability through Host-A-Poet. Please indicate if you are willing to be hosted.


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