Members’ Poems

Poetry News 2016The Members’ Poems competition sets Poetry Society Members the task of writing a poem or poems on a theme chosen by a leading poet.

For our winter competition,  Anna Woodford picked the six best members’ poems on the theme of ‘Getting out’. Our winners are: Marianne Burton for ‘First Ball’; Ann Gray for ‘Getting out’; Ramona Herdman for ‘My name is Legion: for we are many’; Mary Livingstone for ‘Wild Life’; Joan Michelson for ‘Self-portrait with Secret’; and Susan Utting for ‘Opening the Windows’. Congratulations to all the poets, they are wonderful poems. You can read them in the Winter issue of Poetry News and here on our website.

All poems published in Poetry News are also eligible for the Hamish Canham Prize and the Anne Born Prize each year. The latest winners are: Ian Humphreys for his poem ‘Zebra on East 55th and 3rd’ (Hamish Canham); and Geraldine Clarkson (Anne Born).

Poetry News Spring 2017 competition:
‘Dilemma’ – enter now!

Send your poems by Thursday 16 February 2017

The competition theme next issue is ‘Dilemma’ and our judge is R.A. Villanueva – who has put together a suggested range of resources for tackling the theme. R.A. Villanueva’s debut collection of poetry, Reliquaria (Univ. Nebraska Press, 2014), won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. His work has appeared in Prac Crit, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Guernica, The Wolf and elsewhere. His honours include a commendation from the 2016 Forward Prizes, fellowships from Kundiman and the Asian American Literary Review, and the inaugural Ninth Letter Literary Award. A founding editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art, he lives in Brooklyn and London.

“Consider this an open invitation to court contradiction, to explore the unresolved (and unresolvable). To wonder aloud. To go ahead and dare to disturb the universe. To let a plumb line down into the danger and to reckon with it.” – R.A. Villanueva

How to enter

  • Deadline: 16 February 2017; entries must be unpublished as of this date.
  • Send no more than two poems, each max. 40 lines, typed on A4, with your membership number, not name and address, at the foot of each.
  • All entrants will be contacted.
  • It’s easiest to enter online at:
  • Enter by post: ‘Dilemma’, Poetry News, 22 Betterton St, London WC2H 9BX
  • Winners appear in Poetry News and win books and entry into the Hamish Canham and Anne Born Prizes. Selected poems are also submitted for the Forward Prize.
  • Only paid-up members of The Poetry Society can enter this competition.