Major New Poetry Prize Beats Predictions

A new poetry prize, launched this year as part of Winchester Poetry Festival, has attracted just under 1,500 entries from over 640 poets – a response which has far exceeded organisers’ expectations.

Winchester Poetry Festival chair Stephen Boyce said: “Our aim is to promote and foster exciting new talent with this open, international Competition and we have been surprised and delighted at the response. We have received many more entries than we anticipated, in this, our debut year, reflecting the increasing importance of poetry in contemporary life.”

Acclaimed poet Mimi Khalvati will be judging the entries and the winners of the £1000, £500 and £250 prizes will be announced at Winchester Poetry Festival, on Sunday 9 October 2016.

Mimi Khalvati said: “It is a privilege to be the Festival Competition’s first judge and I am looking forward to reading all the poems.”

The Competition is one of this year’s Festival highlights and aims to give serious recognition to prizewinning and commended poets, who will be invited to read at a special awards event on Sunday 9 October 2016 and who will also see their entries published in a special anthology to coincide with the presentation.

The competition was open to anyone aged 16 or over, who could submit entries on any subject and in any form or style, provided they were no longer than 40 lines.

The Winchester Poetry Prize is run in partnership with Hampshire Cultural Trust.