Deadline nears for National Poetry Competition

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The 31 October deadline is approaching for the £5,000 National Poetry Competition, with judges Hannah Lowe, Andrew McMillan and Pascale Petit. The competition’s organisers, the Poetry Society, have also announced a new award for new poets in the north-west of England. The Peggy Poole award is aimed at helping emerging poets to develop their craft by giving them the chance to win a year of mentoring from a leading poet.

The award is in memory of the poet and broadcaster Peggy Poole, who died in 2016 aged 91. The first poet mentor, who will also choose this year’s award winner, will be Deryn Rees-Jones.

Peggy’s work for Radio Merseyside’s First Heard programme provided a platform for new voices, as did the events she co-ran for Jabberwocky, which also brought established poets such as Ted Hughes, Stephen Spender and UA Fanthorpe to the region. She was a consultant for BBC North West, and an honorary member of Liverpool’s Dead Good Poets’ Society and Ver Poets. She published several collections of her own poetry, and edited several anthologies.

To be eligible for the Peggy Poole award, poets need to have entered the National Poetry Competition, adhering to all the associated rules, and be living in one of the following postcode regions: BB, BL, CA, CH, CW, FY, IM, L, M, OL, PR, SK, SN and WA.

The National Poetry Competition attracts around 13,000 entries each year. It is judged anonymously, and past winners have included previously unknown poets. Stephen Sexton won last year’s competition with his poem ‘The Curfew’. The closing date for the National Poetry Competition is 31 October 2017 and the winners will be announced in spring 2018.



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