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Brotherton Poetry Prize 2021

The second international Brotherton Poetry Prize is now open to entries from unpublished poets.

The Brotherton Poetry Prize, presented by the University of Leeds Poetry Centre, is open to anyone over 18 who hasn’t yet published a full collection of poems.

Competition entries should include up to five poems, but no more than 200 lines in total. The winner will receive £1,000 and the opportunity to develop their creative practice with the Poetry Centre. Four runners-up will each receive £200. The twenty-five poems of the five shortlisted poets will be published as an anthology.

The first Brotherton Poetry Prize attracted over 400 entries. The five shortlisted winners now have their entries published in a Brotherton Poetry Prize Anthology by respected publisher Carcanet Press, with a foreword by Professor of Poetry and Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.

The poems are mesmerising and memorable, trippy but never blurred or vague.

Simon Armitage

The Poetry Prize is the latest initiative in the University’s long-standing and historically significant engagement with poetry and poets. This is reflected in the Library’s Special Collections Poetry archives, which hold internationally significant archives of outstanding contemporary poets, such as Tony Harrison, Geoffrey Hill and Simon Armitage. The Poetry Centre continues the work started in the 1950s with the Gregory Fellowship scheme and the publications Poetry and Audience and Stand magazine, by supporting a new generation of poets through Creative Writing and Douglas Caster Fellowships.

Dane Holt, originally from Chesterfield in Derbyshire, now a researcher at Queen’s University Belfast, won the inaugural prize. Reflecting on what such prizes mean to emerging poets, he says:

Being awarded the Brotherton prize did what I believe the intention of such prizes is: to give younger (or emerging) poets a boost through recognition and, through recognition, the encouragement to carry on.

Dane Holt, winner of the Brotherton Poetry Prize 2019

The judging panel of the prize are all associated with the University of Leeds Poetry Centre. The judges are: Professor of Poetry Simon Armitage; poets and University cultural fellows Malika Booker (inaugural Poet in Residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company), Zaffar Kunial (Douglas Caster Fellow) and Kimberly Campanello (Lecturer in creative writing). Poetry Centre Director Professor John Whale and University Librarian Stella Butler complete the judging panel.

The prize has been generously supported by the Charles Brotherton Trust. Brotherton’s Uncle, Lord Edward Brotherton of Wakefield, was a Yorkshire industrialist and philanthropist who funded our iconic Brotherton Library building and donated his private library of rare books and manuscripts to the University to form the basis of the Brotherton Collection.

Enter the competition through the Brotherton Poetry Prize website

Purchase options for the 2019 Brotherton Poetry Prize Anthology: