2023 International Poetry Competition

£1000 first prize for a single poem

Guest Judge: Inua Ellams MBE

We are delighted to announce the long and shortlists for the competition. 

The winner will be announced at our anthology launch event on 12th December. All are welcome, register here. 
And all 50 longlisted poems will be published in our 2023 anthology. Pre-order your copy here: /store


The Pig and the Fennel

Oenone Thomas


Jess Thayil

Some things I do no know

Arthur Allen

To the Kilburn Horse, seen from the Leeds to Newcastle train

Jane Burn

Busy Day at the Foodbank

Martyn Crucefix

A part of me is still hoping you faked it

Laura Theis

The Dark in Which I’ve Lately Dwelt

Justin Hunt

bread and roses

Deborah Finding

How the wind will sing of us

Mike Barlow

A Brief History of Modern Music

Partridge Boswell


Anastasia Taylor-Lind

Self Portrait as my Diary

Caleb Parkin

Cutting my grandmother's hair

Yas Necati


Dillon Jaxx

How Number Four Grandma Came to Join the Household

Pey Oh




My Promotions

Andrew George


Helen Kay

Family Slices

Ken Evans

A Zebra

Sharon Black

translate this

Lydia Harris

The Day the Rains Came

Doreen Hinchliffe

She offers her defence

Robin Houghton

Without which

Jane Routh

Ode to Soviet Space dogs

Sue Burge

The Coursing: New Year's Day

Ann Leahy


Brandon Bennett

The Red Handbag

Karis Williamson

Own Brand

Anne Casey

The art of waiting

Denise O'Hagan

Systemic Lupus

Vasiliki Albedo


Jackie Bennett

The Cervine Assumption

Pauline Rowe

Nightsingers - a conversation poem.

Dave Wynne-Jones

Daughter, you have been carrying your brother on your back all night

Pam Thompson

Feeling Good & Functioning Well

Alexandra Melville

The Knight's Tale

Lisa Kelly

Taking ‘The Cardinal’ from Washington to Chicago

Lydia Kennaway

King Crab

Josh Hallam

Mourning Pace

Beatriz Echeverri

As you spread and soar

NJ Hynes

The Half of It

Sophie Caldecott

The High Priestess

Golnoosh Nour

The Soap Dishes in the Shower Block at Alcatraz

Isabella Mead

The Unreeving

Matt Hohner


Allyson Weekes

The Oak Planter

Yasmin Inkersole

Writing letters

Pamela Crowe


Isobel Dixon

I’ve given up on love and am going to the moon

Elizabeth Gibson

Ghazal: First Generation

Jill Abram

When you sing Jerusalem

Mark Fiddes


Inua Ellams MBE

Born in Nigeria in 1984, Inua Ellams is writer and curator. He is a cross disciplinary artist, an internationally touring performer, a poet, playwright, screenwriter, graphic artist & designer. His published books of poetry include Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars, Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales, The Wire-Headed Heathen, #Afterhours, and The Actual. His first play The 14th Tale was awarded a Fringe First at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival. His plays include Barber Shop Chronicles (National Theatre and world tour), Three Sisters (National Theatre) and The Half-God of Rainfall (The Kiln). He is currently touring Search Party, An Evening With An Immigrant and working on several commissions across stage and screen. 

 He lives and works from London, where he founded and curates the Midnight Run, The R.A.P Party, Poetry +Film / Hack, and other live events. He is an ambassador for The Ministry of Stories and The London Library, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Royal Society of Arts, and board members of The Poetry Translation Centre, Complicite Theatre, The Royal Society of Literature and Cheltenham Literature Festival. In 2023, He was honoured with an MBE for Services To The Arts.

Full Ts&Cs can be found on the submittable page.