Members’ Poems

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

Phoebe Power, judge of our latest members’ poems competition on the Keats-inspired theme of ‘Youth’, commemorating the bicentenary of his death, has chosen her six winners. They are: Vanessa Lampert, John Lancaster, Sarah Mnatzaganian, John Morrison, Cheryl Moskowitz and Annie Wright, and their poems are published opposite. Warm congratulations to them and commiserations to all who sent in poems but weren’t selected this time – please don’t be discouraged. Details of our latest competition are published below.

Look out for videos of our six winners reading their ‘Youth’ poems, which we’ll make available shortly.

All poems published in Poetry News are also eligible for the Hamish Canham Prize each year and between 2014 and 2018, the Anne Born Prize. The latest winner of the Hamish Canham Prize is Jo Burns.

Poetry News spring 2021 competition: Waking dream

We continue with Keats-inspired themes in our next members’ poems competition. Rachel Long (left) will judge the spring 2021 competition on the theme of ‘Waking dream’. My Darling from the Lions, Rachel’s brilliant debut, which features many dream-inspired poems, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the Costa Poetry Award. She is the founder of Octavia – Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour.

Submission details
  • The deadline for entries is 15 February 2021; poems must be unpublished as of our winter issue publication date of end March 2021.
  • Please send no more than two poems on the theme of ‘Waking dream’, each max. forty lines, typed on A4, with your membership number, not name and address, at the foot.
  • We’d like to recommend that you enter online via Submittable at, particularly as the post is likely to be disrupted during the coronavirus epidemic. If this poses difficulties for you, please email Mike Sims, Editor, at [email protected]
  • Winners appear in Poetry News and win books and entry into the Hamish Canham Prize.