The InterBoard Poetry Competition (IBPC) was conceived in 1999 by Michael Neff, Director of Web Del Sol. Neff worked with the Atlantic, Utne, and other on-line poetry boards to create a meaningful mission for the IBPC. The goals were several.

First, to seek to improve the quality of poetry and discourse on participating boards and on the Internet in general; second, to discover and publish new poets; and third, to help these new poets become recognized by leading literary periodicals.

An informal launch committee established a preliminary set of rules and bylaws, and the IBPC took flight in spring of 2000. After only one year, the number of participating boards had doubled. The IBPC opened its doors to all quality boards, honed its by-laws, and further refined the
IBPC contests.

Judges for the IBPC have been many and distinguished, including Guggenheim winner Robert Sward, Joan Houlihan of Boston Comment fame, 1999 Pulitzer Prize nominee Harvey Stanbrough, the editorial staff of River Styx, Mark Yakich of River City, and many others.

Two years later, with the birth of its new website at IBPC-POETRY.ORG, the IBPC and member boards are well on the way to achieving their goals. Today the IBPC includes about twenty participating boards, with more pending approval. IBPC recognition of poets, and the boards they represent, has become an increasingly prestigious honor. Meanwhile, the nature of the competition has fostered creativity and improved communication among the on-line poetry community.

Recently, IBPC staff have successfully engaged print journals with the competition. We plan to continue bridging the media gap between internet and print poetry. A print anthology of best work is planned for 2003-2004.

Our new site reflects the growth of the IBPC. It now includes “IBPC Selects” featuring the editor’s choice of favorite poems, direct links to Poets & Writers, Powells and other favorite sites, direct home page access to our participating boards, the most recent winning poems, and “IBPC: Newswire” – news and announcements of the many talented poets who workshop on the net.

Our future is promising with a vision not only for the “InterBoard Poetry Competition” but for the continued growth of the “InterBoard Poetry Community”.