The mandate and primary aim of Contemporary Verse 2 is to educate, engage, and expand public appreciation of the poetic art form by sharing and promoting high-calibre, original verse and critical writing by local, national, and international poets.

This official mandate encompasses the key components of CV2’s aims, but there is plenty of room to expand upon these primary aims when considering, in broader terms, our vision of what our organization is, and our vision for what it could grow to become.

A key component of our vision for CV2 centers around inclusivity. CV2 has historically focused keenly on this aspect of its mandate, and this focus has, in recent years and months, expanded to home in on what, more specifically, it means to be actively – rather than passively – inclusive.

For us, active inclusivity means seeking to diversify both our readership, and the kind of work we publish, and to be constantly and consistently challenging ourselves to assess ways in which we could be more actively engaged in this area of our programming.

CV2 is published by Contemporary Verse 2 Inc., a registered charity which has made it a mission to:

Advance the understanding and appreciation of contemporary poetry through the publication of Contemporary Verse 2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing and related activities.

Some of these related activities include internships, readings, workshops and the development of an educational resource for teaching poetry in the classroom.


Contemporary Verse 2 was founded by Dorothy Livesay in 1975. Beginning as Contemporary Verse II: A Quarterly of Canadian Poetry Criticism (CVII)CVII was established, according to Dorothy Livesay, to take up where Contemporary Verse, an important venue for Canadian poets in the 1940s and early 1950s, had left off. CVII began as a forum for critical discussion about Canadian poetry, because Editor-Chief Dorothy Livesay felt there were few literary journals outside the academy at that time attempting to present an ongoing discussion of the literary merits of Canadian poetry.

In the years since its inception, Contemporary Verse II (which became Contemporary Verse 2 (CV2) in the mid-eighties) has continued to be an important publication for new poetry, poets and the discussion of new poetic writing in our country. CV2 has survived a number of major transformations over the many years of its existence. Originally a publication of poetic criticism, CV2 has been a more general poetry publication, a well-known publication of feminist poetry and writing, and for a brief time engaged in a very short, unsuccessful tryst with micro-fiction. But in the end CV2 has never wandered far from its poetic roots. Today it remains as the only national poetry magazine that continues to publish four times a year.

In 2001, the publication became Contemporary Verse 2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, embarking on its most recent transformation and the magazine that readers today will find on their local newsstands. In a happy meeting of past and present, CV2 continues to keep the discussion of Canadian poetry fresh, lively, and open to the widest possible range of poetic perspectives and voices, with in-depth interviews, thoughtful essays, intelligent reviews and the finest new Canadian poetry.