Tuesday 14 November 2017

Verve Poetry Festival 2018 City Poetry Competition

Verve Poetry Festival 2018 City Poetry Competition

1st prize £500, 2nd £250 and 3rd prize worth £100.
The authors of the best fifteen poems will be invited to read alongside six commissioned poets at the City Poetry Event at Verve 2018!

Acclaimed Birmingham poet Roy Fisher famously published his long poem City as a kind of poetic hymn to a city he often loathed but ultimately loved. Decades later, another poet with Brummie roots, Benjamin Zephaniah, wrote his City Psalms, placing verse covering the topics of politics, race and injustice in a resolutely city setting.

A city centre poetry festival needs city poems! For this year’s competition they’d like to hear and read yours. But how will you write about the city, and will your city be real or imaginary? Will your city be your focus, or will you set your poem in your city with the cosmopolitan conurbation as a back-drop? Will your city be a positive, lively place, filled with energy and vigour? Will it be violent and threatening? Will you be alone in your city, or amongst friends? Will your poem take on the shape of your city? Will it be tall and thin like a sky-scraper? Or widen and narrow like your city’s river? Only you can answer these questions.

Deadline and city theme
Verve’s poetry contest this year is for city themed poems.
It opens on Sunday, 1st Oct 2017 and closes midnight Saturday, 25th Nov 2017.

The Judge
Luke Kennard has published five collections of poetry, including The Harbour Beyond the Movie and most recently and to great acclaim, Cain. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2005 and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2007. He lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. In 2014 he was selected by the Poetry Book Society as one of the Next Generation Poets. His debut novel, The Transition, was published in 2017 by Fourth Estate.

He closed Verve Poetry Festival in 2017, and will do so again in 2018 as part of Local Legends– our Birmingham Spoken Word Scene Night of Nights!

Luke will read all the entries and choose 3 winning poems and 12 commended poems. Luke will also attend the City Poetry event at Verve and introduce the poets.


1st Prize: £500
2nd Prize: £250
3rd Prize: £100
Commended: 12 commended poets will be invited to read their poem alongside the prizewinners and six commissioned poets at our City Poetry Event at Verve.

Entry Fee
The cost of entry to our competition is £5.00 for the first poem and £3.00 for each subsequent poem.

Full entry details and how to pay can be found on the Verve website: www.vervepoetryfestival.com/competition

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