The 2022 International Book & Pamphlet Competition
Judges: Jonathan Edwards and Rachel Long Entry: £28/£25*, Deadline: Tuesday 1st March 2022
The Poetry Business is delighted to announce that the 36th International Book & Pamphlet Competition judged by Jonathan Edwards and Rachel Long is now open for entries.
Entrants are invited to submit a collection of 20 pages of poetry. Four winners will be selected by the judges to be published by the award-winning imprint Smith|Doorstop. All winners will also receive a share of £2,000, publication in The North magazine, and a reading at The Wordsworth Trust.
The winners will receive close editing, extending their entry up to 28 pages and are guaranteed pamphlet publication. There is also an opportunity to submit a full-length manuscript, which, where the judges feel it is appropriate, will be published as a book in 2023.
Full-price entry is £28. Subscribers to The North, Friends of the Poetry Business, and members of the Poetry Society are eligible for the discounted fee of £25. *Entry fee waivers available. See below for details.
About the International Book & Pamphlet Competition
The International Book & Pamphlet Competition was the first of its kind in Britain. Now in its 36th year, it has launched the careers of many well-established and successful poets, including Daljit Nagra, Michael Laskey, Kim Moore, Pascale Petit, and Catherine Smith.
The four winning collections are beautifully produced and promoted widely, and entered for all eligible awards and prizes. They are also sold in bookshops throughout the UK and through online stockists of The Poetry Business publications.
Jonathan Edwards’ first collection, My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren, 2014), received the Costa Poetry Award, the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award, and was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. His second collection, Gen (Seren, 2018) received the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award. He has read his poems on BBC radio and television, recorded them for the Poetry Archive, and led workshops in schools, universities and prisons.
Rachel Long’s debut collection, My Darling from the Lions (Picador 2020 / Tin House 2021) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, The Costa Book Award, The Rathbones Folio Prize, and the Jhalak Prize. She is the founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for women of colour, housed at the Southbank Centre, in London.
Ann and Peter Sansom are directors of The Poetry Business and editors of The North magazine and Smith|Doorstop books. Ann’s publications include Romance and In Praise of Men & Other People (Bloodaxe) and Peter’s include Writing Poems (Bloodaxe) and Selected Poems (Carcanet).
How to Enter
Click the button below to submit your entry to the 2022 International Book & Pamphlet Competition online.
To enter the competition by post, please complete the entry form, and post it along with your manuscript and a cheque to cover your entry fee to: The Competition Administrator, The Poetry Business, Campo House, 54 Campo Lane, Sheffield, S1 2EG by the last post on Tuesday 1st March 2022.
Please ensure you pay the correct postage amount when posting your entry. Please send your entry via standard royal mail delivery rather than recorded delivery, as our staff team currently work remotely for most of the week.
**PLEASE NOTE** If you are having difficulty uploading your manuscript file, try clearing the cache, or opening the form in a new private/incognito browsing window. If this does not work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entry Fee Waiver Applications
The International Book & Pamphlet Competition has always played a vital role in supporting The Poetry Business’ wider publishing programme and its writer development activities. However, though entry fees are crucial to its survival, equally important to the business is the way that the competition continues to discover talented and exciting poets, whom we might otherwise not encounter.
We are keen to encourage poetry from all backgrounds and know that entry fees may be a barrier to participation. Therefore, we now allocate a number of free entries to the New Poets Prize and the International Book & Pamphlet Competition.
These entries will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. To apply please complete the entry fee waiver application form by midnight on Friday 31st December 2021. We will contact all successful bursary applicants by Friday 14th January 2022. Those who have their entry fee waived will then have until the competition deadline to submit their manuscript.
*ENTRY FEE WAIVER APPLICATIONS HAVE NOW CLOSED
See the list of past winners.
The Winners of the 2021 International Book & Pamphlet Competition
For his collection, Kitchens at Night
These poems are packed with exuberant images. They twist and turn in constantly surprising ways – line by line, I never know where they’ll take me next! The first read exhilarates; re-reads reveal hidden depths and subterranean passages to the magical adventures. I adored the furniture poems especially, but every poem thrills. This is gorgeous, exciting work and I’m in awe of its energy and vitality. – Pascale Petit
Quirky, kooky, dark, philosophical, absurd and always wonderful, often edged between outrageous humour and revelation, these richly imagistic poems are full of invention. Each poem treads slowly onwards inventing itself as it proceeds to celebrate the transforming powers of poetry. An original and thrilling poet whose every poem hit the mark! – Daljit Nagra
Dean Browne was born in 1994 and raised in Tipperary. His poems have appeared widely in magazines and journals, including Banshee, Bath Magg, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Magazine, Poetry Review, Southword, The Stinging Fly and The Tangerine. His poem ‘Pine Box in the Flea Market’, was shortlisted for Poem of the Year in the Irish Book Awards in 2019. Having previously lived in Berlin, he now lives in Cork City.
For his collection, We Are The Weather
A harsh farmstead life is conjured with words the texture of mud and straw, blood and urine. I loved the sonic dance of vowels and consonants, as urgent as “my burst of curses rhyming the bucket”. Words for this poet are beings to roll around in. While the brutalities and charms of farm life thresh on the page, there are also tender moments, such as ‘Unmaking His Chair’ – a lyrical eco-poem told backwards. A linguistic delight! – Pascale Petit
We learn what it must feel like to be a rural child, to grow up amid the rigours of a demanding landscape with its hard-won pleasures. Occasionally we feel the power of Seamus Heaney in the way the natural world is excited through physical and sonorous language. At their best, the details are devoid of self and focus on particularising natural activity with impressive acuity. – Daljit Nagra
Jim McElroy is based in Belfast, and grew up in the Mournes, County Down. He won the 2021 Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing and the 2020 Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award. In 2019 he was selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions, and awarded an Individual Artist Award by Arts Council NI. In 2020 he was shortlisted for the Rialto pamphlet award, Cúirt New Writing prize, was runner-up in the Fingal Poetry Prize and he was nominated for the Pushcart and Forward prizes. He has also been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize on two occasions. Recurrent themes include the natural world, climate, war, technological change and ageing.
Maya C. Popa
For her collection, Dear Life
These meditations on life’s big themes are subtle, dreamy, sharp, and composed with great economy. They have a quiet power and gravitas. The poet achieves universality, which is a hard thing to do, and has a consistent gift for outstanding lines. The title poem is particularly moving and exquisite. This is a brand-new voice, like a Larkinseque Mary Oliver if that’s possible! But very much herself. – Pascale Petit
The clean poetic line dramatizes a coming-of-age narrative, alongside some lovely and moving poems about the natural world which question our experience of nature as well as describing it. What stood out persistently was the tenderness, the phrase making and occasional moments of humour. – Daljit Nagra
Maya C. Popa is the author of American Faith (Sarabande Books; recipient of the 2020 North American Book Prize), as well as two chapbooks. Her writing appears in The Paris Review, Poetry, The TLS, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of awards in the US and UK, including the Editor’s Prize from the Poetry Foundation and the Martin Starkie Prize from the Oxford Poetry Society. Popa serves as Poetry Reviews Editor at Publishers Weekly and teaches at NYU and elsewhere. She holds degrees from Oxford University, where she was a Clarendon Scholar, NYU, and Barnard College and is currently pursuing her PhD on the role of wonder in poetry at Goldsmiths, University of London.
For her collection, The Field
These telegrammatic and compelling impressions from an Armenian war by a photojournalist are utterly authentic and original. The sudden, searing images and bald facts present the un-presentable with rigorous honesty. Each bulletin told me something I didn’t know, which is what a poem should do. The accompanying photographs are as strong as the texts. I admire how the poet transports us somewhere entirely different, but without the risk that she has had to take to acquire such hard-won insights. – Pascale Petit
An astonishing reportage of the first war during the pandemic which has a bricolage style of construction written from the perspective of a female photojournalist. The conventional verses sit alongside images and agonised questions that complicate the politics of war reporting. This is a dramatic narrative that is constantly disrupted to challenge itself, which makes for a gripping account of witness. – Daljit Nagra
Anastasia Taylor-Lind is an English/Swedish photojournalist covering issues relating to women, war and violence. She is a National Geographic Magazine photographer, a TED fellow and a 2016 Harvard Nieman fellow. She writes poems about contemporary conflicts and the experiences she cannot photograph.
For her collection, Burying Your Body
For her collection, Storyboard
Each and every year The Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition discovers and publishes exciting and substantial new poets…There’s no doubt that this is a career-changing poetry competition. If you’ve got a solid body of work that you’re pleased to have written, there’s nowhere better to send it.The Poetry Trust
One of the career milestones for very many poets of noteAnne-Marie Fyfe
I’ve judged a lot of contests, but I can’t recall any where the quality of the poems – one manuscript after another – was so highBilly Collins, 2015 competition judge