Saturday, January 29, 2011

PLEASE SHARE AND DISTRIBUTE: call for submissions for Poetry for Human Rights at VERSeFest 2011‏

Poetry for Human Rights
at VERSeFest 2011


Poetry for Human Rights will be a showcase incorporating stage and/or page poetry that engages topics of human rights: women's rights, migration rights, democracy and self-determination, social justice, indigenous rights, and/or other topics related to oppression and resistance.

It takes place March 12, 2011 at 3pm, as a part of VERSeFest 2011.


VERSeFest is Ottawa’s new poetry festival, scheduled to take place from Tuesday, March 8 through March 13, 2011.  The festival is being staged by a collective of 14 Ottawa poetry groups that is known as VERSe Ottawa.  The total attendance at these groups’ events varies seasonally between about 750 and 1,000 people per month.  Audiences range in age from school and university students through to the retired. 

The poetic arts in Ottawa and, indeed, the country are rising in popularity and are becoming increasingly mainstream. VERSsFest is a collaborative project to leverage all the energy and capacity of these groups to build a critical mass for the poetry community as a whole, to share audiences, and to deliver a festival on a new scale. Ottawa deserves an annual festival of poetry, and VERSeFest will grow into an annual international poetry festival.


All poets, whether performance-based, page-based, or somewhere in between, are welcome to apply. The showcase is not limited to poets from the Ottawa region, but VERSeFest will not be able to cover any travel.


Please submit a brief statement (500 words maximum) explaining your work and its human rights resonance, along with at least three pieces of sample material.

We can evaluate printed poetry (Word, OpenOffice, or rtf files), performance video (in .mpg or youtube URLs), or audio (in .mp3 or CD audio) to by February 18, 2011.

While electronic submission is much preferred, hard-copy submissions (including printed paper, CDs, DVDs) may be mailed to: PFHR VERSeFest submissions, 243 Booth Street, Ottawa, K1R 7J5.

Deadline is February 18, 2011.

A selection committee will get to work and select three artists for the showcase. Results should be announced by February 26.


One poet will be selected to give a full reading/performance (of 30-35 minutes), and two others will each give a "half" reading/performance (less than 20 minutes). Artists will be compensated at Canada Council rates for readings.

Sorry, we will not be able to cover any travel costs.

Thanks for your submissions!

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