Creative Manchester Poetry Competition

In the Spring of 2020, Creative Manchester and the Centre for New Writing ran a micropoetry competition themed around the climate. Poems were judged by a panel of professional poets, including Chancellor of the University, Lemn Sissay.

From 21 March 2020 to 21 June 2020

Partners: Centre for New Writing

‘Poetry is a piece of alchemy, a piece of magic, and it’s available to all of us’
Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay
Lemn Sissay

On World Poetry Day 2020, Creative Manchester and the Centre for New Writing invited budding writers to express their thoughts about the climate through the medium of poetry. Open to anyone, the Twitter-based competition set a tough character limit of 280, making entrants work hard to distil their feelings into a concise snapshot.

Entrants were asked to submit their short poems by the longest day of the year: 21 June 2020. By this date, over 200 poems were submitted. These were passed to a judging panel comprised of three esteemed poets: University Chancellor Lemn Sissay MBE, the Centre for New Writing’s Professor of Poetry, John McAuliffe and Ledbury Critic, Maryam Hessavi. Upon receiving the submissions, all three judges remarked upon their incredibly high standard.

In mid-July, after some tough decisions, the winners were announced. First Place (£500) was awarded to Alison K Brown, and two Runner-up prizes (£250) went to Ben Gwalchmai and Matan Bone. These fantastic winning poems, plus an addition seven ‘highly commended’ poems, are available to read via the Centre for New Writing’s website.

For more information about the competition, you can read a University news item, which includes insights and reflections from the judges. A huge thanks to our three judges and to all those who entered the Creative Manchester Poetry Competition. And of course, congratulations to the talented poets who won!