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Poet's Pause Poetry Competition returns for 16th year

Two winners will receive $250 and have their work displayed in Alta Lake Park
whistler-pause-poetry-contest-oisin-mchugh
“Pause, Hear, Listen, Love,” one of 2023’s winning poems at the “Lost in Sound” sculpture on Alta Lake.

Writers of all ages and experience levels are again invited to contribute to Whistler’s public art landscape through the Poet’s Pause Poetry Competition, which has run annually since 2009. 

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) asks members of the public to submit original, unpublished poems for consideration. Two winning works will be displayed at the Poet’s Pause sculpture sites in Alta Lake Park: one at the metal chimes titled “Lost in Sound” in the north end of the park, and another at the Adirondack chairs called “Lakeside Couple” in the south.  

“This public art and the winning poetry submissions that are added annually, is such a delightful addition to Whistler,” said Mayor Jack Crompton in a press release. “Over the years we’ve received submissions from a wide variety of poets, from school children to accomplished wordsmiths.

"And while this competition really engages our local creatives, we’ve also received submissions from across Canada, and even further afield. I think this speaks to the special place Whistler holds in so many people’s hearts.” 

Winners will each receive $250 CAD in prize money and have their pieces read at a Council Meeting in April as part of National Poetry Month.  

Georgia Butler won in 2023 with “Pause, Hear, Listen, Love”, as did Jessica Beth Brown with “Companion Planting”. 

Poet’s Pause is part of a public art concept created by the late Joan Baron, who developed the Alta Lake Park sculpture sites with intent to inspire creativity.  

Those interested can send in poems for one or both display sites. Submissions should relate to the themes of the two sculptures: the theme for the chimes is “Listening,” and the theme for the Adirondack chairs is “Togetherness.” Works can be of any type and format, with a limit of 240 words.  

The deadline is March 14 at 3 p.m. 

To submit a poem, email communications@whistler.ca. 

Full details are available at whistler.ca/poetrycompetition.