The Power Plant and the Toronto International Festival of Authors are excited to co-present POWER OF THE POETS, an ekphrastic poetry contest!

Ekphrastic poetry is poetry written about a work of art, often striving to connect what we see with feelings, memories and other insights. Well known examples include Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats and Landscape with the Fall of Icarus by William Carlos Williams.

In celebration of April as National Poetry Month, we invite you to write your own ekphrastic poem, inspired by one of The Power Plant’s five Clerestory Commissions:

  1. Carlos Amorales, Black Cloud (2015-2016)
  2. Latifa Echakhch, Cross Fade (2016-2017)
  3. Michael Landy, DEMONSTRATION (2017-2018)
  4. Abbas Akhavan, variations on a landscape (2018-2019)
  5. Rashid Johnson, Anxious Audience (2019-2020)

Submissions are due by 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, April 30, 2020 and will be assessed by pre-judges as well as special guest judge A.F. Moritz, Toronto’s sixth poet laureate. Winners will receive prize packs from TIFA and The Power Plant!

Please read the contest guidelines before submitting your poem and note that submission requires a Google account. If you have any questions not answered in the guidelines, email



  • 1-year Family/Dual Level Membership at The Power Plant
  • Five (5) Power Plant Pages publications
  • One (1) TPP tote bag and one (1) TIFA tote bag
  • Curator-led tour of The Power Plant’s Fall 2020 exhibitions
  • A selection of four (4) books from TIFA’s “best hits”
  • Two (2) double passes to attend two events of your choice during the 41st edition of TIFA (taking place 22 Oct – 1 Nov, 2020)
  • Winning entries may also be featured on The Power Plant and TIFA’s social media channels
  • Approximate Value: $500


  • 1-year Individual Level at The Power Plant
  • One (1) Power Plant Pages publication
  • One (1) TIFA tote bag
  • A selection of two (2) books from TIFA’s “best hits”
  • One (1) double pass to attend the event of your choice during the 41st edition of TIFA (taking place 22 Oct – 1 Nov, 2020)
  • Approximate Value: $200

Deadline: Thursday, April 30, 2020 

Click here to submit your entry

Original posting and images of the 5 inspiration pieces here.