Announcing the Winners of the 2022 New Poets Prize

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2022 New Poets Prize. Thank you to all entrants for letting us see your work, and congratulations to the four winners chosen by Anthony Anaxagorou: Serena Alagappan for Sensitive to Temperature; Chloe Elliott for Encyclopaedia; Tom Branfoot for This is Not an Epiphany; and Beth Davies for The Pretence of Understanding.  

These four winners will receive editorial and mentoring support from The Poetry Business, as well as publication in The North 69 (winter 2022) and a launch reading. The four winning pamphlets will be published in June 2023 under the New Poets List – an imprint of The Poetry Business. 

The New Poets Prize 2023 will open for entries in October 2022.  

Serena Alagappan 

for Sensitive to Temperature

These poems feel as if they move in and out of consciousness, preoccupied with the language of psychology, tapered by wonder and restraint. There’s a casual knowingness to the work which encourages the reader to also peer beyond their reality, in the hope something new appears. – Anthony Anaxagorou

Serena Alagappan received her A.B. in comparative literature and creative writing from Princeton University in 2020. She is currently pursuing an MSt in World Literatures in English at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and editing poetry for the thirtieth annual Mays Anthology. Her poems have appeared in The London Magazine, The American Journal of Poetry, the Colorado Review, and elsewhere.  

Tom Branfoot

for This is Not an Epiphany

These are formal, intelligent poems demonstrating an immense control of language and lineation. At their core is a restlessness, a searching presented as a series of inwards questions which never quite find their resolve. They keep going until the question itself becomes the endgame.   – Anthony Anaxagorou

Tom Branfoot is a poet and writer from Bradford, currently studying for his MA in English: Issues in Modern Culture at UCL. His writing has been published in Washington Square Review, The Babel Tower Notice Board, Murmur, and other publications. His debut pamphlet, I’ll Splinter (2021), is published by Pariah Press. 

Beth Davies

for The Pretence of Understanding

A beautifully strange and encoded book. I was particularly drawn to the tensions made between a place and a self – the longing to connect while remaining cautious as to what that connection asked for. – Anthony Anaxagorou 

Beth Davies (she/her) is an emerging poet based in Sheffield. Her poetry has been published in Poetry Wales, Atrium, Rust + Moth, and Pulp Poets Press, as well as in anthologies such as Candlestick Press’ Ten Poems about Flowers and Valley Press’ Verse Matters. She won second place in the 2021 Dead Cat Poetry Prize and in the 2022 Magdalena Young Poets Prize. In addition to being a member of Hive Poetry Collective, Beth is a graduate of The Writing Squad, Durham University Slam Team, and Sheffield Young Writers. More information about her work can be found at or by following @BethRSD on Twitter. 

Chloe Elliott

for Encyclopaedia

A well balanced mix of pastiche and observation; Elliott’s worlds fixate on the idiosyncratic, surreal and absurd. Each associative turn seems loaded with news, humour, crisis or intrigue. – Anthony Anaxagorou 

Chloe Elliott is a poet based in Durham. She is the Gold Winner of the 2020 Creative Future Writers’ Award and has seen her work in anthologies by Bitter Melon and Bad Betty Press. Her poems also feature in Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, Ink Sweat & Tears and Bedtime Stories for the End of the World, amongst others. She is interested in mixedness, scrap ecology, and the tactile world. 

About the New Poets Prize

The New Poets Prize is a pamphlet competition for writers between the ages of 17 and 24 (inclusive). This prize runs alongside the renowned International Book & Pamphlet Competition organised by The Poetry Business, which has now been established for 36 years.

Previous judges of the New Poets Prize include Helen Mort, Andrew McMillan, Kayo Chingonyi, Mary Jean Chan, Luke Kennard and Kim Moore. Winners of the New Poets Prize have gone on to publish full-length collections with notable publishers, including Carcanet and Bloodaxe Books, have been appointed as workshop facilitators, editors-in-residence, and competition judges (such as the Forward Prizes), have launched and performed their pamphlets on national radio and at prestigious venues, and have been widely reviewed.

The Judge

Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and poetry educator. His second collection After the Formalities published with Penned in the Margins is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2019 TS Eliot Prize. It was also a Telegraph and Guardian poetry book of the year.

He was awarded the 2019 H-100 Award for writing and publishing, and the 2015 Groucho Maverick Award for his poetry and fiction. In 2019 he was made an honorary fellow of the University of Roehampton.

Anthony is artistic director of Out-Spoken, a monthly poetry and music night held at London’s Southbank Centre, and publisher of Out-Spoken Press. His forthcoming poetry collection Heritage Aesthetics will be published by Granta in 2022.

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