The biennial Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize seeks to recognize Canadian poets whose work wrestles with the beauty and complexity of religious faith. In 2019, the winner and runner-up will be awarded $20,000 and $5,000 respectively, by a panel of three celebrated writers: Lorna Goodison, Chelene Knight, and Scott Cairns.
Poets engaged with all faith traditions are encouraged to submit work, however this prize is not designed to erase distinctions or paper over conflict. There are meaningful differences between Muslims and Christians, Hindus and Orthodox Jews that cannot, and should not, be erased, suppressed, or ignored. Instead, this prize seeks to honor writing that explores the distinctive contours of belief and the shape it gives to modern life.
The 2019 Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize will be awarded to a poet who is hammering out new forms and new language to express the ineffable today. The prize seeks to encourage writers whose poems provide access to spiritual experience, awakenings that cast light on the world and make it known. We want to hear from poets who are grappling with transcendence and the divine, those for whom poetry is—as Christian Wiman would describe it—a form of theology.
Launched in 2016, the Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize is presented by Image journal, with support from Cardus. It’s open to all writers currently living in Canada and Canadian citizens living abroad. All shortlisted nominees will have their work considered for publication in Image.
The entry period for the 2019 Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize is now open and closes June 30th, 2019.