Three pictures of judges. Left to right, a white woman smiling, a white man looking pensive, a black man reading into a microphone.
(Left to right: Greta Stoddart, Michael Symmons Roberts, Jason Allen-Paisant)

Greta Stoddart had her first collection At Home in the Dark published by Anvil in 2001. The collection was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 2002. Her second book, Salvation Jane (Anvil), was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award 2008 and her third, Alive Alive O (Bloodaxe, 2015), was shortlisted for the Roehampton Poetry Prize 2016, and included a poem shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem. Her latest work, a radio poem ‘Who’s there?’ broadcast on BBC Radio 4 was BBC ‘Pick of the Week’ and shortlisted for the 2017 Ted Hughes Award. Her fourth book, Fool, will be published by Verve in September 2022. She lives in Devon and teaches at the Poetry School. 

Jason Allen-Paisant is an award-winning poet and non-fiction writer. His critically acclaimed debut collection, Thinking with Trees, won the Poetry category of the 2022 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. His work has been published or anthologised in Granta, The Guardian, The Poetry Review, Callaloo, New Poetries VIII, the BBC and More Fiya: A New Collection of Black British Poetry, among others. His second collection, Self-Portrait as Othello, will be published by Carcanet in March 2023. Jason holds a Doctorate in Medieval and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford and is currently Associate Professor of Aesthetic Theory and Decolonial Thought in the School of English and the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies at the University of Leeds. 

Michael Symmons Roberts is from Preston, Lancashire. He has published eight books of poetry including Drysalter which won the Forward and Costa Poetry Prizes and Corpus which won the Whitbread Poetry Award and was shortlisted for the Griffin International Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is a regular broadcaster and dramatist for BBC radio, and his work as a librettist has been performed in concert halls across the world. His Selected Poems was published by Cape in 2016 and his most recent collection – Ransom – in 2021.


Past judges

2021: Fiona Benson, David Constantine, Rachel Long
2020: Karen McCarthy Woolf, Neil Astley, Jonathan Edwards
2019: Mona Arshi, Helen Mort, Maurice Riordan
2018: Kei Miller, Kim Moore, Mark Waldron
2017: Andrew McMillan, Hannah Lowe, Pascale Petit
2016: Moniza Alvi, Gerry Cambridge, Jack Underwood
2015: Sarah Howe, Esther Morgan, David Wheatley
2014: Roddy Lumsden, Glyn Maxwell, Zoë Skoulding
2013: Julia CopusMatthew SweeneyJane Yeh
2012: Vicki FeaverW.N. Herbert, Nick Laird
2011: Colette BryceJohn GlendayJackie Kay
2010: Sinéad MorrisseyDeryn Rees-JonesGeorge Szirtes
2009: Ruth PadelNeil RollinsonDaljit Nagra
2008: Brian Patten, Frieda Hughes, Jack Mapanje
2007: E.A. Markham, Michael Schmidt, Penelope Shuttle
2006: John Burnside, Lee Harwood, Alice Oswald
2005: Alison Brackenbury, Bernardine Evaristo, Mark Ford
2004: Ciaran Carson, Elaine Feinstein, Simon Smith, Denis MacShane MP (chair)
2003: Paul Farley, Medbh McGuckian, Grace Nichols, Debbie Taylor (chair)
2002: Simon Armitage, Suzi Feay, Selima Hill, Hugo Williams
2001: Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, Michael DonaghyIan Duhig, Michele Roberts
2000: Lavinia GreenlawIan McMillan, Don Paterson, Germaine Greer (chair)
1999: John Agard, Robert Crawford, Ruth Padel, Michael Rosen (chair)
1998: Matthew Sweeney, David Dabydeen, Kathleen Jamie
1997: Roger McGoughAndrew MotionCarol Ann Duffy, Monizi Alvi
1996: Paul Durcan, Jo Shapcott, Paul Hyland
1995: Paul Muldoon, U.A. Fanthorpe, Andrew McAllister
1994: Fleur Adcock, Jackie Kay, Lemn Sissay, Susan Roberts (chair)
1993: Sean O’Brien, Helen Dunmore, Anthony Thwaite
1992: Maura Dooley, Simon Rae, Michael Longley
1991: Liz Lochhead, John Whitworth, David Dabydeen, John Heath-Stubbs
1990: Kit Wright, Grace Nichols, Simon Armitage
1989: Carol Ann Duffy, Fleur Adcock, Herbert Lomas
1988: Jonathan Barker, Edwin Morgan, George Szirtes
1987: Douglas Dunn, Edna Longley, Fred D’Aguiar
1986: Wendy Cope, John Fuller, Ken Smith
1985: Carol Rumens, Roy Fisher, Tom Paulin
1984: James Berry, George McBeth, Hugo Williams
1983: Vernon Scannell, Gillian Clarke, Kevin Crossley Holland
1982: Christopher Reid, Paul Muldoon, Frances Horovitz
1981: Roger McGough, Edwin Morgan, Peter Porter
1980: Patricia Beer, Douglas Dunn, George McBeth
1979: Brian Patten, Anne Stevenson, Craig Raine
1978: Ted Hughes, Fleur Adcock, Gavin Ewart