The Best New British and Irish Poets competition collects fifty poems from the fifty best new poets in the UK and Ireland. It is based on a similar and well-known US prize anthology. The top fifty poems will be published in The Best New British and Irish Poets anthology in 2019, following classic anthologies from 2016 to 2018. This year's past anthology was guest-edited by famous American poet, Maggie Smith.
Eligibility: poets resident in the UK or Ireland, regardless of nationality, as well as passport holders from the UK or Ireland who live abroad, are eligible to submit work for consideration if they have not yet published (and are not under contract to publish at time of entry) a full-length collection of poetry. Poets who have published pamphlets are eligible to compete as are poets included in previous editions of the anthology. Submissions are open to JUNE 6, 2019.
Guidelines: submit one to three original poems in the English language for consideration. Poems may have appeared before in print periodicals, journals, or magazines, but not in online venues. Please include any prior publication information for each submitted poem in your cover letter. Your cover letter should also include a brief biographical note with your contact details. Do not include your name on your poems.
About this year's judge:
Nick Makoha's debut collection Kingdom of Gravity was shortlisted for the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection (Forward) and nominated by The Guardian as one of the best books of 2017. He won the 2015 Brunel International Poetry prize and the 2016 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection. He is a Goldsmiths, Cave Canem & Complete Works Alumni. His poems have appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, The Boston Review, and Wasafiri - among many others.
"Nick Makoha’s first full-length collection, Kingdom of Gravity (Peepal Tree £8.99), was the 2017 debut which most excited me. Focused on Uganda during the Idi Amin dictatorship, his poetry is charged with ethical sensibility. The lines protest as they sing 1the song disturbed by helicopter blades…1 but they don’t simplify things: they explore, and complicate. Personal witness and artistry are one." - Carol Rumens - The Guardian