2020 Senior Online Qualifiers Judges

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Teachers, upload your school champion(s)' 2 recitation videos by Thursday, March 5.

Submit to the Online Qualifiers


We're very excited to introduce this year's Senior Online Qualifiers judges. They are evaluating hundreds of video recitations and deciding which 24 students will be invited to compete at this year's National Finals in Montréal.

The winners will be announced on Thursday, March 19.

Born in Haiti, Bathélemy Bolivar emigrated to the United States in 2000 to study computer sciences while teaching physics. In 2002, he settled in Winnipeg, where he continued to teach. In 2011, his master’s studies in Education and Online Business gave him the opportunity, with the help of friends from Haiti and elsewhere, to launch the École haïtienne sans Frontières (Haitian School Without Borders), the mission of which is to provide free, high-quality education to Haitian students.

Bathélemy Bolivar has published many poetry books, including Manguiers têtus (which won the Rue-Deschambault Prize in 2006), Re-bondir, mots de terre/voices of the earth, which is bilingual, and Tempo.


Alice Burdick lives in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. She is the author of many chapbooks, pamphlets, folios and four full-length poetry collections. Deportment, a book of selected poetry, came out in 2018 from Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 

Alice's poetry has been described as playful, surreal and imagistic. She often writes about daily life as well as internal and external landscapes, and doesn't shy away from satire or the anti-sentimental lyric. Influences have included Emily Dickinson, Marina Tsvetayeva, Frank OHara, Lorine Niedecker, Ted Berrigan, and Anne Waldman.

Her work has also appeared in several anthologies including Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the Influence and the upcoming Locations of Grief: An Emotional Geography. She co-owns an independent bookstore in Lunenburg called Lexicon Books.


Quebec poet and essayist Jean-Paul Daoust, born in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, is a prolific writer. His biting poems call upon popular references, sometimes using English words in his French poetry, and reveal a direct, vibrant, and baroque writing style. His intimate, protesting, and engaged work explores themes of melancholy, modernity, and homosexuality. Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award and recipient of the Grand Prix Québecor of the Festival international de la poésie de Trois-Rivières, Jean-Paul Daoust reveals a poetic work with many twists and turns. The poet can be heard every day on Radio-Canada's Plus on est de fous plus on lit, where he is the guest poet.


A writer of free verse novels, poems, and songs, Georgette Leblanc's writing transcends perspective, time, and genre to escape all constraints. Her literary Acadian language rises beyond Acadian folklore to reach a mythical universe. Her poetic voice is playful and vibrant, enigmatic and intimate in turn, creating a unique and charming poetic universe. Literary translation, memory, history, and performance are also among her interests. Her published works include Alma (2007), Amédé (2010), Prudent (2013) (finalist for the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry), and most recently, Le Grand Feu (2016), published by Éditions Perce-Neige. Georgette Leblanc was the Parliamentary Poet Laureate in 2018 and 2019.


Canisia Lubrin is a writer, editor, teacher and critic, with work published widely in North America, as well as in the U.K.. Translations of her work include into Spanish and Italian. She is the author of the awards-nominated poetry collection Voodoo Hypothesis (Wolsak & Wynn) and augur (Gap Riot Press) finalist for the 2018 bpNichol Chapbook Award. Lubrin's fiction is anthologized in The Unpublished City: Volume I, finalist for the 2018 Toronto Book Award. She teaches English at Humber College and Creative Writing at Sheridan College and in the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies.


Deanna Radford's poetry has appeared Art + Wonder, the Capilano Review, carte blanche, Free City Radio, the Headlight Anthology, and Vallum. In Fall 2018, her poem, “When my lover is across the ocean,” was shortlisted for the Capilano Review's Robin Blaser Poetry Contest judged by Fred Wah. Her writing on music, literature, and media art has appeared in Arc Poetry, Flypaper, Herizons, the mRb, Musicworks, and others. She is the former curator of the Atwater Poetry Project (2015 -2019) and has enjoyed being a judge for the Poetry In Voice Bilingual Team Regionals for several years. Her poetry/sound group Cloud Circuit will launch its début EP, Bur sting brea k'r, this winter with Archive Officielle Publications. She is completing an MA in creative writing at Concordia University in Montréal.


Born in New York, Adam Sol has lived in Toronto for 20 years. He has published four books of poetry, including Complicity, his most recent collection. His novel-in-verse Jeremiah, Ohio was shortlisted for Ontario’s Trillium Award for Poetry and his collection Crowd of Sounds won the award in 2004. His latest project is How a Poem Moves, a series of essays that will become a book in the spring of 2019. The blog continues at: https://howapoemmoves.wordpress.com. He teaches at the University of Toronto's Victoria College, where he's the Coordinator of the Creative Expression & Society program.

His poetic interests circle around the complications of being a person, how we are at once serious human beings with spiritual yearnings and socio-political frustrations, and also people who like to play stupid video games and eat beaver tails. How can poems reconcile these conflicting selves? He went to school for a long time and earned a bunch of degrees, but gets equal inspiration from the goofy as the esoteric, from Herman Melville to Jennifer L. Knox, from Talmudic stories to the Toronto Raptors.


Neil Surkan’s debut poetry collection, On High, was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press. His chapbook, Super, Natural, was published by Anstruther Press. He is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English at the University of Calgary, where he is writing a creative dissertation (comprised of a collection of poems and a theoretical essay) that explores the relationship between poetry and activism: In what ways do poems inspire change? How might poems go on the offensive? Must a poem be provocative to be proactive?

Neil loves poems that make the world feel unfamiliar and, therefore, more precious — poems that merge vibrant descriptions, startling observations and intimations, and bewildering approaches to form. Poets who're influencing him right now include Ange Mlinko, Mark Ford, Sarah Howe, Michael Hofmann, Durs Grunbein, Tess Liem, A.E. Stallings, Tomas Tranströmer, Eduardo C. Corral, Natalie Diaz, Bill Knott, Natalie Shapero, Wendy Xu, Lisa Robertson, and Elizabeth Bishop



Changming Yuan started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai at age 19, published monographs on translation, and worked as a college lecturer and administrator before leaving China. An independent tutor and translator with a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver while writing all kinds of poetry, especially sociopolitical, languacultural, nature, reflective, dark and experimental. Credits include eight chapbooks, ten Pushcart nominations, the 2018 Naji Naaman's Literary Prize, the 2019 Jodi Strutz Award in Poetry, and publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry: Tenth Anniversary Edition and BestNewPoemsOnline, among more than 1,600 other journals/anthologies across 44 countries.