2018 International Poetry Competition

£1000 first prize for a single poem

Guest Judge: Liz Berry

Deadline 2nd July 2018 


Submit at: https://livecanon.submittable.com/submit 

Previous winners include Inua Ellams, Andrew McMillan, Sophie Fenella, Tessa Foley, Lesley Saunders, Aileen La Tourette and Kirsten Irving


Previous judges include: Glyn Maxwell, Antony Dunn, Lorraine Mariner, Barney Norris and Clare Pollard


You can enter as many poems as you like to the Live Canon International Poetry Competition, and there is no line limit. You can enter from anywhere in the world, but your entry should be predominantly in English


The unique thing about Live Canon’s competition is that we read every poem aloud as part of the judging process. We are really interested in poems that work on and off the page.


50 poems will be longlisted and published in our 2018 anthology. 

20 poems will be shortlisted and performed by the Live Canon ensemble at our prize giving event at Greenwich Theatre. 

1 poem will receive a winning prize of £1000.


There is also a £100 prize for the highest placed entry by a poet living, studying or working in the London Borough of Greenwich, sponsored by Greenwich Theatre.


Proceeds from the entry fee go towards the cost of running the competition, but any additional funds raised support Live Canon's workshops for children in schools and libraries. 



Aileen La Tourette had this to say on winning: 

"Live Canon are a totally fresh experience for our weary times. Having Live Canon's support was great, winning their competition was a huge honour. The live performance of new poems on stage at the  Greenwich Theatre was a thrilling, intimate experience for everyone there. Live Canon wake you up with poems - just what we need, whether we know it or not."



We are honoured that Liz Berry is our 2018 Guest Judge.

Liz Berry was born in the Black Country and now lives in Birmingham. Her first book of poems, Black Country (Chatto 2014), described as a ‘sooty, soaring hymn to her native West Midlands’ (Guardian) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, received a Somerset Maugham Award and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2014. Her pamphlet The Republic of Motherhood will be published by Chatto in July 2018. Liz works as a tutor for organisations including the Arvon Foundation, Writing West Midlands and Writers’ Centre Norwich.


Watch here some of the winning poems, from 2017, 2016 and 2015...

We are delighted to announce that The Live Canon 2017 Anthology is available to order from Amazon,


from all good bookshops,

and directly from us, via the paypal link below. 


We are delighted to announce the results of the first collection competition in full:


Susannah Hart 


Antony Mair 

Natalya Anderson 

Richy Campbell 

Sophie Reynolds 

Sue Burge 

Tessa Foley 


Aaron Graham 

Alexandra Strnad 

Carol Flake Chapman 

David Lohrey 

Dominic Power 

Hugh Sullivan 

Jacqueline Thomspon 

Jennifer Edwards 

Lucy Sheen 

Mary Williams 

Megan Gieske 

Paul Helliwell 

Philip Williams 

Robin Houghton 

Will Johnson