National Poetry Competition

The National Poetry Competition 2022 is not currently open and will open later in the year – latest updates will be posted here

The National Poetry Competition 2021 winners have now been announced – congratulations to the longlist and winners.

National Poetry Competition 2021 Winners

The National Poetry Competition 2021 winners were announced at a live awards event at Mercers’ Hall on 31 March 2022.

Read the winning poems via the links in the sidebar, and in the National Poetry Competition 2021 anthology below.


The judges for the National Poetry Competition 2021 were Fiona Benson, David Constantine and Rachel Long, who selected ten poems from 16,729 poems entered into the competition from 7,012 poets in 100 countries. Congratulations to all the winners and to the longlisted poets.

The 2021 winners

1st prize winner: Eric Yip for ‘Fricatives’

2nd prize winner: Jed Myers for ‘I Picture Him Driving’

3rd prize winner: Emma Purshouse for ‘Catherine Eddowes’ tin box as a key witness’

Commended poets:

Jo Haslam for ‘A lyke wake for auntie’, Lindsey Holland for ‘A Riddle of Hamsters’, Martin Reed for ‘Durleigh’, J.C. Todd for ‘Old Friends, Here and Gone’, Kizziah Burton for ‘We Were Learning Not to Look Away But To Look Through It Like A Wind Eye’, HLR for ‘When I First Bled’ and M.R. Peacocke for ‘Out of School’.

You can read more about the first-prize winning poem here.

The 2021 longlist

Congratulations, too, to the longlisted poets: Aileen Ballantyne, Amy Wolstenholme, Andrea Witzke Slot, Anita Ngai, Anna Whyatt, Anne Bailie, Anne Macaulay, Ayokunle Falomo, Blair Bourassa, Brian Herdman, Bridget O’Bernstein, Bunmi Ogunsiji, Caleb Leow, Carla Grosch-Miller, Carol Woods, Caroline Stancer, Catherine Edmunds, Catriona Wright, Charlie Druce, Charlotte Shevchenko Knight, Christine Webb, Christopher Wellings, Conor Cleary, Cory Ingram, Damen O’Brien, David Bleiman, David McLoghlin, David Robertson, David Swann, Denise O’Hagan, Dolores Walshe, Donald Futers, Elena Croitoru, Elizabeth Oxley, Ellen McAteer, Emily Harrison, Etan Kerr-Finell, Ewan Mackinnon, Fiona Bennett, Frank Jones, Geraldine Clarkson, Harriet Torr, Helen Mort, Hilary Taylor, Hugh Holme, I. Patterson, Inua Ellams, Jane Draycott, Jane Houston, Jane Warren, Jeanette Burton, Jennifer Hall, Jenny Martin, Jenny Mitchell, Jestyn Portugill, John Hussey, Jonathan Bates, Jonathan Edwards, Julie McNeely-Kirwan, Kate Segriff, Kathryn Bevis, Kirsten Irving, Lance Larsen, Laura Theis, Lauren Garland, Leonardo Boix, Lindy Barbour, Lynn Foote, Lynne Burnett, Lynne Jones, Maeve Cullen, Mark Fiddes, Maxine Backus, Mel Elberger, Merrie Joy Williams, Michael Forester, Midnight Dean, Mike Pullman, Miranda Peake, Moss Selkin, Neal Hoskins, Neil Fleming, Nicholas Samaras, Nick Drake, Nick Hawker, Oli Isaac, Oluwaseun Olayiwola, Partridge Boswell, Patch Fusi, Peter Krumbach, Rachel Burns, Robert Maxwell Duncan, Roger West, Ros Woolner, Sanah Ahsan, Scott McKendry, Simon Costello, Steph Morris, Tabitha Hayward, Tanvi Roberts, Tyler Jones, Valentina Rindunica, Vanessa Lampert, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Vijaya Venkatesan, Wendy Manning, William Stephenson and Zelda Chappel.

The National Poetry Competition 2022 will open again in May – check back here for the latest updates. You can also sign up to the National Poetry Competition mailing list to be notified as soon as it opens and for the latest competition news.