Welcome to Winchester Poetry Festival
Festival weekend will take place October 13-15 2023.
Previous Winners of Winchester Poetry Prize
celebrating the best in new writing
Click on the highlighted links below to read the winning poems
The inaugural prize judged by Mimi Khalvati in 2016 was won by Eve Ellis for her poem 'Haint'.
Mimi Khalvati commented on 'Haint' saying: 'I loved it for its music, its poignancy, its haunting open ending. A poem like a snowflake.'
Eve Ellis is a native of the United States but now lives in London. 'Haint' was her first published poem. Eve was long-listed for Primers and the National Poetry Competition in 2017. Her poems have also appeared in Magma and Bare Fiction.
In 2017 the prize was won by Caleb Parkin for his poem 'Somewhere to Keep the Rain'.
Caleb wasn't able to be at the prizegiving ceremony but he sent us a video of himself reading the poem which can be seen here.
Caleb Parkin is a poet, performer, facilitator & filmmaker, based in Bristol. He works with schools, museums, science centres, universities, and more. In 2016, he won second prize in the National Poetry Competition, was shortlisted in The Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition, and was commended in the Ware Open Poetry Competition.
The 2018 Winchester Poetry Prize was judged by Liz Berry. The winning poem was with 'Plight' by Inua Ellams.
Born in Nigeria, Inua Ellams is an award winning poet, playwright & founder of the Midnight Run. Identity, Displacement & Destiny are reoccurring themes in his work in which he mixes the old with the new, traditional with the contemporary. His books are published by Flipped Eye, Akashic, Nine Arches & Oberon.
Liz Berry commented 'This poem knocked me off my feet. It blazes a tense, fiery narrative of
flight and fear.'
In its fourth year the Prize was judged by Helen Mort who selected 'Mother's milk' by Salisbury poet Peter Iveson as the winning poem.
Peter Iveson started writing when he moved to Salisbury from London. Sometimes it takes a major life event to trigger poetry, perhaps poetry was waiting for the right space and time, but since then he can’t stop, and is happy when occasionally others seem to like what he’s doing.
In 2020 the Prize was judged by Andrew McMillan. The prizegiving event went online and can be seen here. Lewis Buxton's poem 'un-seaming the tendon' won first prize.
Lewis Buxton is a poet, performer & arts producer. He was selected as one of the Poetry School & Nine Arches Press Primers Volume 4 poets and been published in The Rialto, Magma, Ambit & Oxford Poetry. He is a Norwich Arts Centre artist-in-residence and currently lives in Norfolk.
Lewis generously supported a number of poets on low incomes to enter the 2021 Winchester Poetry Prize.
Winchester Poetry Prize is generously sponsored by: