The Geist Jackpine Sonnet Contest is an exploration of one distinctly Canadian literary form. The jackpine sonnet was created by Milton Acorn, it is a short sonnet-like poem. Are there other distinctly Canadian literary forms?
The 3-day novel was invented in Vancouver in the 1970s. The criteria for a 3-day novel is that it is written in 72 hours. This is enough time to write a novella-length work, but not much time for editing. The effect: a stream of consciousness rushes onto the page while the author stuggles to wrangle it into novel form.
The Viator poem is credited to Robin Skelton, a British emmigrant to Canada, who was co-founder and former editor of the Malahat Review. The criteria for a Viator poem: the first line of the first stanza is the same as the second line of the second stanza, which is the same as third line of the third stanza, and on and on, ad infinitum.
The guidelines Milton Acorn supplied for writing jackpine sonnets are not very stringent. A jackpine sonnet can grow into whatever form suits it: is this enough to make it a literary form?