International Poetry Competition

The results of our 2022 International Poetry Competition, judged by Caroline Bird, have been announced.

The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre recently ran its 2022 International Poetry Competition to celebrate the power of poetry across the world!

Over 1,500 entries were submitted this year - more than ever before - and our judge, Caroline Bird, has announced the results. Huge congratulations to all the winners and to our shortlisted poets for this year too!

You can read the winning poems on this dedicated page.

EAL category

First Place: 'Orange Blossoms' by Angeliki Ampelogianni

Second Place: 'Rehearsal' by Elena Croitoru

Special Commendation: 'Hania at the End of the World' by Agata Masłowska

Open category

First Place: 'The Seventeenth' by SK Grout

Second Place: 'Sunday (Payday)' by Shaw Worth

Special Commendation: 'Paradise' by Katie Hale


Shortlisted poems and poets

'Ode to Abruzzo' by Italo Ferrante

'My Preschool Teacher Rips Tape from the Roll' by Atma Frans

'Sunday trips to Duisburg' by Petra Hilgers

'Lunar Eclipse' by Laboni Islam

'Motion Picture Industry' by Alexandra Melville

'The Science of Learning' by Ilse Pedler

'About Images' by Shaw Worth

'Khawuleza!' by Philani Amadeus Nyoni


Recording of the online awards event

We hosted an online awards event on 10 January and you can watch a recording of it by clicking on the video below.

To watch the video, we recommend that you click on the full screen option in the bottom-right of the image (the broken box icon). You can click on the arrow at the bottom of the video to view the live chat from the event, and click on the stream button in the top-right of the screen (it looks like a page with lines on it) to view the text of the poems alongside the video of the poet. Closed captioning is also available at the bottom of the screen. If you have any difficulty viewing the video, do let us know.

Many thanks indeed to everyone who entered this year's competition. We were grateful to receive and read such a wonderful range of writing and we are always excited to see the great richness of poetry across the world. Caroline tells us that she found making a selection of winning poems very difficult because of the high standard of entries!

Judge's report by Caroline Bird

Judging a poetry competition is different from reading a book of poems, instead it's like repeatedly waking up inside the heads of multiple people and dreaming their dreams, it's glorious and relentless and I read each entry three times. Then, I sit myself down, away from the pile, and realise certain poems are still inhabiting me (or I them?) like they've left a little microchip behind, a clipping of soul, to shift my world. Sometimes it's a central image, or unexpected swerve, or the ducking and weaving of the music – something remains and expands.

'Orange Blossoms' by Angeliki Ampelogianni (EAL, First Prize) plays a devastating magic trick on the reader, rolling inexorably down the page with an energy and life that makes the subject matter even more painful. 'The Seventeenth' by SK Grout (OPEN, First Prize) invites us in to a world we think we recognise – princesses, kings, impossible towers – and then, before we can protect ourselves, takes us to a deeply mysterious and personal place. I could write a whole essay... The unsettling giddiness of 'Sunday Payday' by Shaw Worth, the prickling privacy of 'Rehearsal' by Elena Croitoru, the steady rising of 'Paradise' by Katie Hale or the confident vastness of 'Hania at the End of the World', by Agata Masłowska - as well as every shortlisted poem now residing in my head.

Thank you, also, to everyone who entered the competition this year (I was struck by so many), it was an honour to spend time with them.

About the competition

The competition was open to both new and established poets aged 18 and over from across the globe and has two categories:

  • Open category (open to all poets aged 18 years and over)
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL) category (open to all poets aged 18 and over who write in English as an Additional Language.

The winners of each category receive £1000 and both runners up £200.

Our judge

We are excited to say that this year’s judge is the award-winning poet Caroline Bird

Caroline is a poet and playwright. She has published seven books of poetry with Carcanet, most recently Rookie: Selected Poems (2022). The Air Year, published in 2020, won the Forward Prize for Best Collection, was shortlisted for the Polari Book Prize and the Costa Poetry Prize, and was a Book of the Year in the Telegraph, Guardian and White Review.

Her fifth collection, In These Days of Prohibition, was shortlisted for the 2017 T. S. Eliot Prize and the Ted Hughes Award. Caroline was one of the five official poets at the 2012 London Olympics.

You can find out more about Caroline’s work on her website, and follow her on Twitter.

If you have questions about the competition, please consult our Frequently Asked Questions (below). If your question isn’t answered there, contact us at:

You can find out about last year’s competition and the winning poems of 2021 on this dedicated page.

About the Poetry Centre

The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre is based within the School of English and Modern Languages at Oxford Brookes University. The Centre is involved in researching and teaching poetry at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, publishes poetry pamphlets through ignitionpress, and hosts an annual programme of events for members of staff, students and the local community including conferences, workshops, exhibitions and community projects. Why not sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive news of our activities or our Weekly Poem e-mail to receive a free contemporary poem in your inbox each week?

Frequently asked questions


Entries / Format


Entering online


Judging and the awards event



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