A special thank you to everyone who submitted a poem for the first ever smART Magazine Poetry Contest. It was a delightful pleasure reading every submission from Toronto, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Charlotte. In response to the prompt “the Joy of Recovery,”—which is also the theme of our forthcoming Issue No.6—we received heartfelt and sincere expressions of joy, sadness, and all the complications of recovery. We are incredibly grateful to all these poets for sharing their stories with us. While we’ve selected six winners across all cities, we strongly encourage each author to continue on their literary journey and self-realization through poetry. 

In our interview with Ontario’s newly appointed Poet Laureate, Randell Adjei, the poet emphasized his belief that “Poetry is in everything.” Indeed the variety of the submissions showed the inventiveness through which each poet was able to find the poetry within a year of isolation and desolation. We are grateful for each submission and look forward to reading more of them in our next poetry contest. 

Congratulations to the following winners, representing each of Immersive Van Gogh cities: 


Toronto - “Lessons on the Reality of Recovery” by Heba Khan
San Francisco - “They do it With Their Wings” by Claire Champommier
New York - “Renew York” by Faisal Lateef
Los Angeles - “2020: A Brief Odyssey” by Christian Araya
Charlotte - “Bird Song” by Hannah Kiker 
Chicago - “The Journey Within and Without” by Linh & Demetri


We’d also like to applaud seven honourable mentions: 


“Vigil” by Four (Toronto)

“the moon is our muse” by Deekshah Yelamanchi (Toronto)

“Dear Old Self” by Adrian Rob (Toronto) 

“Free!” by Chaitra Rangaswamaiah (San Francisco) 

“(Un)Cover” by Emily Wolfson (New York)

“The Joy of Recovery” by Rema E. Shamon (Chicago)

“The Joy of Recovery” by Vincent Grey (Chicago)


Inspired by the vivid and stimulating images conjured by many of the poems in this contest, our next contest (Issue 7) will invite illustrators from each of the six aforementioned cities to submit an illustration inspired by the winning poem from their city. More information will be available on that contest shortly. 


All winning poems will be published on Monday July 12th. Winners from each city will be contacted via email with instructions on how to claim their prizes and schedule their visit to Immersive Van Gogh. 


Michael Zarathus-Cook 


by Jeremy Lewis

smART Magazine's 

the joy of recovery 

smART Magazine is proud to announce our first-ever poetry competition for Issue No. 6. As the arts-world begins to re-open, the joy of recovery meets our collective sense of loss and isolation. Along with rebirth comes waves of relief, uncertainty, a new normalcy, mourning, and anticipation of hope and renewal. To celebrate this moment of cultural rekindling, the theme for our Issue No.6 poetry competition is THE JOY OF RECOVERY.


National Arts Centre

Alexander Neef

FFDN Festival

Route 66

Pia Kleber, UofT

Hyde Park Center

The Joffrey Balley

Chicago Symphony

Art on theMART

Josh Grossman

Dennis Watkins

Guillaume Côté

Barre Flow

Starry Opera Night

Saving Chagall