International Poetry Competition

  • freshwater_0001_gold_jpg

    Announcing the winners of the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition, 2017!

    This year our International Poetry Competition attracted a record number of entries and we were delighted to see more entries from poets living in many different countries. Two top prizes of £1000 were on offer in a competition that seeks to celebrate the great diversity of poetry being written in English all over the world.

    Poems were submitted in two categories: EAL category (open to all poets over 18 years of age who speak English as an Additional Language), and Open category (open to all poets over 18 years of age).

    The competition attracted more than 1200 entries from over 500 different poets. Poems came to us from writers in over 54 countries including: the United States, Canada, India, Nigeria, Australia, Belgium, Japan, Mexico, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Greece, Pakistan, St Lucia, Italy, and Malaysia.

    We were really delighted to welcome Helen Mort as our judge this year. Helen’s first poetry collection Division Street, published in 2013, won the prestigious Fenton Aldeburgh Prize. In 2014, she was named as one of the Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation poets, a list that appears only every decade. Her latest collection, No MapCould Show Them (Chatto & Windus), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, whilst her first novel, Black Car Burning, is forthcoming. In 2017, she was a judge for the Man Booker International Prize. Helen was a Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow at The University of Leeds from 2014-2016 and now lectures at The Manchester Writing School.

    Many congratulations to the winners and those poets shortlisted! We will be holding a prizegiving ceremony at Oxford Brookes University on Friday 24 November, which will feature readings from the winning poets and from Helen Mort herself. Everyone - whether you entered the competition or not - is welcome to attend! Just e-mail us to register your interest:


    Open category

    EAL category

    The Shortlist for the Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition 2017 consists of the following poems:

    • Peter Allmond, ‘Sea Shapes, Sounds and River Circles’
    • Dean Atta, ‘The Chronic’
    • Allie Bullivant, ‘My Father's Briefcase’
    • Lewis Buxton, ‘Tense’
    • Min Ji Choi, ‘Lines I took from home’
    • Baptiste Collard, ‘pavement prophet’
    • Patrick James Errington, ‘Not an Elegy’
    • Tabitha Hayward, ‘Lochcarron’
    • Ann Heathcote, ‘It's hard to be wiser than your mother’
    • Alison Hill, ‘Hares Crossing’
    • Vasiliki Albedo, ‘Summer of 2015’
    • Joan Michelson, ‘At 3 o'clock in the afternoon’
    • Simon Murphy, ‘Moles’
    • Damen O'Brien, ‘Dinners With Dead People’
    • Radka Otípková, ‘Coup de grâce’
    • Laura Potts, ‘Holly’
    • Sally St Clair, ‘Potting Quinces’
    • Sally St Clair, ‘Should a Man be Able to Fight His Way out of a Cardboard Box?’
    • Paul Stephenson, ‘Banisters’
    • Juno Toraiwa,‘Crossing The Line (Berlin 2017)’
    • Gastón Tourn, ‘I'm tired of being a foreigner’
    • Jessica Traynor, ‘The Life’
    • Jessica Traynor, ‘The Heroes' Chorus’
    • Alan Ward, ‘Droste Woman’s Husband’
    • Jennifer Wong, ‘Postpartum Vinegar’
    • Pierre Zahnd, ‘If my father is less patient with his dog’
    • Pierre Zahnd, ‘My Aunt Plays Prokofiev's War Sonata No. 8’