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2023 Open Poetry Competition Shortlist

Congratulations to our 2023 Open Poetry Shortlisted Entries

AnniversaryKathryn Bevis           
Barbie’s Dream House                                         Sophie Mae
Biding her time                                                       SMH Davies        
ConflationNoriko Konuma              
DivinityCharles Evans              
Golden Carpets                                                       Henry Tydeman     
Horse Breezes                                                          John Gallas               
I wanted to write but I never had a pen Jennifer Pescod   
King Hamlet                                                              Lev Crofts                                       
Limpet                                               Elizabeth Rowe                                       
Lovers of Valdaro Hannah Bowness-Major   
Migraine I Think I Love You                              Emily White        
My Father’s Shoes                                                 Rhona Stephens                 
Oxford Blue                                                             Julie Evans                                     
Picking Blackberries                                          Marilyn Timms          
Starlit Eyes of Blue                                           John D. Kelly                   
Stoney Littleton Long Barrow               John Sewell   
TattooSMH Davies                                                     
The Castles We Built                                          Nicola Keller                       
The Dishwasher’s Revolt                                Christopher James 
The Memory Hive                                           Nick Salaman  
The Screaming Man                                            Tim Hall                               
The Editor                                                               David Gilbert                                         
VenomErin Endrei
We Sat Not Talking                                           Jennifer Pescod                            
Who Am I                                                                   Helen Orchard                                                  

The Open Poetry competition will be judged by William Sieghart, founder of the Forward Prizes, the UK’s biggest poetry prizes. William also instigated National Poetry Day which is now celebrated in the UK every October.

William Sieghart

Last year William joined our anniversary Festival prescribing the audience with poetry to heal all ills.  He has spent most of his adult life promoting poetry and its beneficial powers and has been dispensing poetry prescriptions since his Poetry Pharmacy began in 2014. As someone who has listened to thousands of problems and prescribed poetic remedies for all of them, he will make an excellent judge for this year’s Open Poetry. His many books include The Poetry Pharmacy and The Poetry Pharmacy Returns as well as 100 Prized Poems – twenty five years of the Forward Books.

First Prize £1000! Second and third prizes – £500 and £250 respectively. Plus £100 for a local poet.
Prize Giving and Poetry Reading takes place on Monday 30 October 2023 as part of the Festival. 
Book your free seat here.