2021 International Poetry Competition

£1000 first prize for a single poem

Guest Judge: Jennifer Wong 

We are delighted to announce the shortlist and longlist for the 2021 International Poetry Competition:


A Baby Speaks on his Birthday in an Autumn Garden, 2020, Josephine Corcoran
A Small House on Higher Ground, Colin Watts
After the Asylum, Chaucer Cameron
Cornish Morning, Vanessa Lampert
Bert Jarman at the Pentre, Chris Hardy
Edvard Munch in Havordfordwest, Pam Thompson
strangers again, Mary Mulholland
New Language, Vasiliki Albedo
How Much Rain Can A Cloud Hold?, Laurie Bolger
Genealogy, Ralph La Rosa
The Fish Shack, Margate, Jane Thomas
Dear Bees –, Emma Simon
You’re The Boy with a Gun in His Bedroom, Stuart Charlesworth
Doves, Isabella Mead
I’m afraid of the ghost of Egas Moniz, Jane Burn
The Shortest Day, Paul Stephenson


(Temper Of) The Swan, Brandon Bennett

260 feet, David Underdown

28 trailers, Sarah Terkaoui

Archaeology, PN Singer

Blackspot, Mary Jane Holmes

Bread, John Kefala Kerr

Crazy Mad Bastard, Tim Relf

Dark River, Mark Huband

Extinction Events, David Bleiman

Factors which Contraindicate a Diagnosis, Katharine Goda

Geneaology, Ralph La Rosa

Gravity rules, Eva Hilberg

How Much Rain Can A Cloud Hold?, Laurie Bolger

I am building Paris in my bedroom, Sue Burge

I have paid the price for eating snow, Sarah Doyle

If You’re not Scared, Tessa Foley

In an Empty Train, Antony Mair

in medias res, RHJ Baker

La Buse!, Mehran Waheed

Leaf Storm, David Butler

Mathematicians Take No Holidays, William Stephenson

News From Theia: a Fragment, Steve Xerri

Portrait of my Father as a 12th Century Confucian Sage, Ross Cogan

Putty Hill, Matt Hohner

Reclaim the streets, Hilary Otto

River Name, Kaozara Oyalowo

Small Mercies, Maeve Henry

The Birds, Sharon Black

The Daughter’s Reckoning, Eve Jackson

The Minister for Bushfire Recovery is reassigned to Floods, Anne Casey

Unbridled, Alexandra Corrin-Tachibana

Untying the Rat King, Jonathan Greenhause

water music, Gillie Robic

Yakob, you brought me an etrog to give to your mother, Sara Levy

Jennifer Wong

Born and grew up in Hong Kong, Jennifer is the author of several collections including Goldfish (Chameleon Press) and a pamphlet, Diary of a Miu Miu Salesgirl (Bitter Melon Poetry 2019). Her latest collection, 回家Letters Home (Nine Arches Press 2020)—which explores the complexities of history, migration and translation—has been named the PBS Wild Card Choice by Poetry Book Society. She studied in Oxford and completed a creative writing PhD from Oxford Brookes University. She teaches creative writing at Poetry School and Oxford Brookes. Her poems, reviews and poetry translations have appeared in World Literature Today, Oxford Poetry, The Rialto, Magma Poetry, Poetry Review, Poetry London, PN Review and Asian Review of Books. She is currently also the writer-in-residence at Wasafiri.

Pre-order the 2021 anthology

You can pre-order the 2021 anthology from our store here:https://www.livecanon.co.uk/store/product/2021-anthology

You can also order a copy, for £5. to be donated to a secondary school library: https://www.livecanon.co.uk/store/product/donate-an-anthology-to-a-school-library

Watch here some of the winning poems, from previous years: