The Mick Imlah Poetry Prize 2018


When we revived the TLS Poetry Competition last year, re-named for the poet who was Poetry Editor of the TLS from 1992 until his death in 2009, the response was such as to convince us it ought once more to be an annual fixture. The purpose of such competitions, said Mick Imlah in 2008 (the last year he oversaw ours), is to “open the field, in hopes that a great poem will enter the lists”. The field for the Mick Imlah Poetry Prize is now open again!

The judges: Kathryn Maris, an American poet who lives in London, whose poetry appears in the new series of Penguin Modern Poets and whose most recent volume, The House with Only an Attic and a Basement, was published earlier this year; Rebecca Watts, whose first collection The Met Office Advises Caution (2016) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and a Guardian and FT Book of the Year, and who lives and works in Cambridge (England); and Alan Jenkins, Poetry editor of the TLS, whose collections of poems include Paper-Money Lyrics (2016) and White Nights, which was published in the US earlier this year.

All entrants will receive a free three-month digital subscription to the TLS; existing subscribers may pass the subscription to a recipient of their choice.

Submission guidelines:

Entry fee: £5 for the first poem, £3 for each additional poem. The prizes are as follows:

  • 1st Prize – £3,000
  • 2nd Prize – £1,500
  • 3rd Prize – £750

Closing date is Sunday October 14, 2018. The winner and runners up will be published in the Christmas double issue.

Each poem should be no longer than 35 lines. All submissions may be paid by either debit card, credit card or direct debit. After you have entered your payment details, you will be asked to upload your poem(s).

Please remove all personal details from poems entered.

This competition is now closed.

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