This year’s judge is Joelle Taylor, winner of the 2022 T.S. Eliot Prize.
Joelle Taylor says ‘I’m excited to judge the Ledbury Poetry Prize and to welcome poetry that surprises, that twists, that speaks to the hidden truths, and stands up for humanity. A poetry that is wild, powerful and diverse in theme and narrative.’
First Prize: £1000 cash and a weeks poetry course with Arvon.
Second Prize: £500
Third Prize: £250
The first prize for the competition is £1,000 cash and, in a new partnership with Arvon, a week’s poetry course. Arvon is the UK’s leading creative writing charity with a wide range of residential and online writing courses. The winner will have one calendar year from the prize being announced to claim either a residential or online week of their choice.
The competition is international, open to poets writing in the English language.
Chloe Garner, Director of Ledbury Poetry, said ‘Joelle Taylor is a generous and tireless enabler of poets, through her work in schools and pupil referral units for Ledbury Poetry and in many other contexts, she has launched a number of poets’ careers. It is wonderful to see Joelle’s own poetry justly celebrated with the 2021 T.S. Eliot Prize and a particular honour to welcome her as a judge for this year’s Ledbury Poetry Competition. I can’t wait to read her selection of winning poems.’
Mary Morris, Artistic Director at Arvon, said ‘Ledbury Poetry has an impressive track record when it comes to recognising fresh talent, and so Arvon is delighted to be working in partnership with this competition to help develop and nurture that talent, whether in one of our writing houses or online through Arvon at Home.’
The competition has been an important first step in many poets’ careers. In addition to these prizes, the winner is invited to read their poems at the internationally renowned Ledbury Poetry Festival.
Joelle Taylor: C+nto & Othered Poems, praised by judges as “a blazing book of rage and light” looks at butch lesbian counterculture in the 1990s. Prior to the pandemic she completed a world tour with her collection Songs My Enemy Taught Me. She founded SLAMbassadors, the UK national youth poetry slam championships, as well as the international spoken-word project Borderlines. She is widely anthologised, the author of 4 collections of poetry and is currently completing her debut collection of inter-connecting short stories The Night Alphabet. She is a co-curator and host of Out-Spoken Live, the UK’s premier poetry and music club currently resident at the Southbank Centre.
Arvon is the UK’s leading creative writing charity, founded in 1968. Arvon hosts writing courses and events in a range of genres, both in-person and online. Residential writing weeks are held in three rural writing houses in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire. With the opportunity to live and work with professional writers, participants transform their writing through workshops, one-to-one tutorials, time and space to write. An online programme of writing courses, masterclasses and free weekly readings also runs year-round. Grants and concessions are available to help with course fees.
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- Poems must be received by Wednesday 24th August 2022 at 23:59pm BST.
- All poems must be the original work of the entrant and should not have been previously published, broadcasted, or accepted for publication by a magazine.
- The length of each poem must not exceed 40 lines.
- All applications must be submitted online through the entry form on this page. Please submit all poems in a single Word or PDF file. Each poem must start on a new page in the document.
- The competitor’s name must NOT appear in the poems or in the document file.
- Copyright remains with the author, but Ledbury Poetry reserves the right to have entries performed at the Festival, on radio, TV, or stage, published on the internet, in an anthology or used for publicity purposes at any stage in the future.
- An automated acknowledgement of the entry will be sent (please check Spam or Junk folders if you don’t see one).
- The decision of the judge is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
- Ledbury Poetry reserves the right to withhold prizes if such an action is justified.
- Entries not complying with competition rules will be disqualified.