Arts & Culture


The Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) has announced that submissions are now open for the 11th Annual Battle of the Bards, presented with media partner NOW Toronto. The popular competition pairs poetry with performance, showcasing a diverse range of voices, themes and poetic genres. The event will take place Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 7:30pm in Harbourfront Centre’s Brigantine Room.

The 11th Annual Battle of the Bards will follow its successful long-running format of staging 20 emerging and established poets head-to-head. Each poet will be given three minutes to read their work, which can range from comical to contemplative. Of the 20 poets, one will win an invitation to read at the 40thAnniversary edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors (October 24 – November 3, 2019) and have their book and Festival event advertised in NOW Magazine

The winner will be selected by a judging panel composed of Geoffrey E. Taylor, TIFA Director, and established poets Andy McGuire (Country Club)and Alison Pick (Strangers With The Same Dream). The event will be hosted by NOW’s Susan G. Cole.

Poets who wish to read their work in the competition must have their publishing representative submit an entry form at byMarch 1 at 5pm. The 20 reading finalists will be selected by random draw from all eligible submissions, and announced on March 12. Publishers will be notified by March 4.

Poets must have at least one published title to their name to be eligible. In keeping with TIFA’s mandate to promote new literature and new voices, participants’ books must have been published within the past five years and be currently in print with a trade publisher. For full submission criteria and guidelines visit

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