Judges

Neil Astley is the editor of Bloodaxe Books which he founded in 1978. His books include many anthologies, most notably those in the Staying Alive series: Staying Alive (2002), Being Alive (2004), Being Human (2011) and Staying Human (2020), along with three collaborations with Pamela Robertson-Pearce, Soul Food and the DVD-books In Person: 30 Poets and In Person: World Poets. He received an Eric Gregory Award for his poetry, and has published two poetry collections, Darwin Survivor and Biting My Tongue, as well as two novels, The End of My Tether (shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award), and The Sheep Who Changed the World.


Jonathan Edwards‘s first collection, My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren, 2014), received the Costa Poetry Award and the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award. It was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. His second collection, Gen (Seren, 2018), also received the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award, and in 2019 his poem about Newport Bridge was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. He lives in Crosskeys, South Wales, and is editor of Poetry Wales.

Born in London to English and Jamaican parents Karen McCarthy Woolf is a poet, broadcaster and editor of five literary anthologies. Her poems are translated into Spanish, Turkish, Italian, Dutch and Swedish. Her collection An Aviary of Small Birds (Oxford Poets, 2014) was described as a ‘pitch perfect’ début (Guardian); her latest, Seasonal Disturbances (Carcanet, 2017) explores climate crisis, migration, the city and the sacred. Bridget Minamore says it ‘feels like watching an avant-garde disaster movie: small slices of information swirling amongst the fast-moving scenes’. A Complete Works alumna, Karen is a Fulbright postdoctoral Scholar at UCLA where she is Writer in Residence for the Promise Institute for Human Rights. 

 

Past judges

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