U.S. psychiatrist Victoria Korth wins $20K Montreal International Poetry Prize

MONTREAL — American psychiatrist Victoria Korth has won the 2020 Montreal International Poetry Prize.

Korth, who is based in Rochester, N.Y., was awarded the $20,000 honour on Monday for "Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center."

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The poem is based on Korth's experience with the psychiatric hospital as the daughter of a patient and later as a practitioner.

Organizers say jurors reviewed 4,600 entries from 107 countries for this year's prize. The submissions were reviewed by a panel of jurors, who did not know the names of the poets, to select a short list of 55 unpublished poems.

American poet Yusef Komunyakaa picked the winner among these finalists. The shortlisted poems will be published as an anthology by Vehicule Press of Montreal.

Awarded every other year, the prize is managed by McGill University's Department of English. This year's competition used an accessible fee structure that allowed poets to anonymously sponsor their fellow entrants through online donations.

Korth joins an eclectic winners' circle that includes a Toronto bartender, an Anglican priest, a celebrated Australian poet.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2020.

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