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.

Rishi Dastidar, judge of our latest members’ poems competition on the theme of ‘Winning’, has clocked the top performers at the finishing line. They are: Brian Docherty, James Giddings, Rowan Lyster, Helen Overell, Jacquie Shanahan and Peter Wallis. Congratulations to all our winners and commiserations to all those who sent in poems but weren’t selected this time – please don’t be discouraged. Details of our latest competition are published below.

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 announced shortly.

Poetry News Autumn 2020 competition: Vision

We are delighted to announce that Moniza Alvi will judge our next members’ poems competition on the theme of ‘Vision’, the same theme as this year’s National Poetry Day. Moniza’s collections include Europa (Bloodaxe, 2008) and At the Time of Partition (Bloodaxe, 2013), both of them shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her latest collection is Blackbird, Bye Bye (Bloodaxe, 2018). She is currently researching the life and work of Stevie Smith.


Submission details
  • The deadline for entries is 5 August 2020; poems must be unpublished as of our Autumn issue publication date of 24 September 2020.
  • Please send no more than two poems on the theme of ‘Vision’, 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.