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.

Moniza Alvi, judge of our latest members’ poems competition on this year’s National Poetry Day theme of ‘Vision’, has chosen her six winners. They are: Frances Malaney, Isabella Mead, Christine Marshall, Madeleine Wurzburger, Mary Mulholland and Jo Burns, 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.

We’ve posted videos of our six winners reading their ‘Vision poems’, especially for National Poetry Day 2020. Watch them here!

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 Winter 2020 competition: Youth

We’re delighted that Phoebe Power will judge the winter 2020 Poetry News members’ poems competition on the theme of ‘Youth’. Phoebe’s Shrines of Upper Austria (Carcanet, 2018) was awarded the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her recent work includes ‘Once More the Sea’, a sequence about the Durham Coast commissioned by the National Trust. She has collaborated with other artists on projects including a live performance of her pamphlet Harp Duet (Eyewear, 2016), and Christl, a video installation involving poetry, visual art and sound.

Submission details
  • The deadline for entries is Tuesday 10 November 2020; poems must be unpublished as of our winter issue publication date of 16 December 2020.
  • Please send no more than two poems on the theme of ‘Youth’, 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.