Winchester Poetry Festival Prize opens to the public

THE 2021 Winchester Poetry Prize is now open for entries.

Organised by the city’s Poetry Festival, it aims to promote and foster talent with this open award.

Winners will be announced during at a special event in October 2021.

Poet Jacqueline Saphra will be the sole judge and will read all entries. First prize will be £1,000, second prize £500 and third prize £250.

Festival chair, the poet Stephen Boyce said: “Winchester Poetry Prize has become known for bringing to prominence wonderfully good poets from far and wide writing with imagination and feeling. That’s very exciting and at the heart of our mission as a festival.”

The competition is open to anyone aged 16 or over and may be on any subject in any form or style and no longer than 40 lines. Entry fee is £5 for the first poem and £4 for subsequent entries.

There is also a special prize for a Hampshire-based poet.

Winning and commended poets will also see their entries published in a special anthology to coincide with the announcement of the winners.

Lewis Buxton, winner of the 2020 prize with his poem Unseaming the Tendon has offered to support a number of entries for low-income poets for whom paying an entry fee would be a barrier.

Lewis said: “I’m supporting 10 poets on low incomes to enter the Winchester Poetry Prize in 2021, and in doing so support them in continuing to be part of a poetry community.”

Closing date is midnight on July 31. Full details of how to enter are on the Winchester Poetry Festival website.