Guernsey International Poetry Competition 2023

Judge: Jackie Kay

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The Guernsey Literary Festival presents a competition that could deliver your work to thousands of readers.

Winning entries will be displayed

  • on Guernsey buses
  • a smaller selection will take part in a second, larger display at Guernsey Airport, then all over the islands

Poems on the Move

Your poem could be on show in 2023. The Guernsey Literary Festival, together with Guernsey Arts, presents a competition that could deliver your work to thousands of readers.

Winning entries are selected in two phases: 21 poems will be chosen, and 9 of these will take part in a second, larger display, first at Guernsey Airport, then all over the island.

Entries must be no longer than 14 lines and must fit on a single A4 page.

Closing date: 15th January 2023

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Guernsey Literary Festival 2023

Guernsey’s natural beauty, and its picturesque harbour town of St Peter Port, make the island an exceptional location for a literary festival. The eleventh Guernsey Literary Festival takes place from 10th – 14th May 2023. We offer a varied and energetic celebration of literature with something for everyone – from aspiring writers to families looking for a fun day out. For more information on events in 2023 visit guernseyliteraryfestival.com

We invite you to join us for the International Poetry Competition Winners’ Reading on Wednesday 10th May 2023.

Categories & Prizes

  • Open Poetry

    Ages 18 and over*

    Entries £4 per poem or enter 3 poems for £10

    1. 1st prize £1000
    2. 2nd place £500
    3. 3rd place £250
  • Channel Islands’ Poetry

    Ages 18 and over, born or resident* in the Channel Islands

    Entries £4 per poem or enter 3 poems for £10

    1. 1st prize £250
    2. 2nd place £50
    3. 3rd place £30
  • Young People’s Poetry

    Aged 11-17*

    Entry free

    1. 1st prize £250
    2. 2nd place £50
    3. 3rd place £30

*age and resident on 15th January 2023

Poems submitted in the Channel Island category are also entered into the Open category

Our Judge for 2023
Jackie Kay

Photo of Michael Symmons Roberts

Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. She is the author of – among other books – The Adoption Papers, which won the Forward Prize, Red Dust Road, winner of the Scottish Book of the Year Award, Trumpet, and the Costa-shortlisted Fiere. She is a former Chancellor of the University of Salford and Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

Filter judge Candy Neubert is a poetry reader for the Bridport Prize. Her last two poetry collections, Channel and Island were partly inspired by Guernsey.

2022 Winners

  • Open Category

    1st Prize: ‘The Work’, Bruce Meyer, Canada, £1000

    2nd Prize: ‘Deer on the Road’, Jo Haslam, West Yorkshire, £500

    3rd Prize: ‘Poem, Painted on a Windowsill’, Sue Leigh, Oxfordshire, £250


  • Channel Islands’ Category

    1st Place: ‘My Life is a Black Knitted Sweater Dress’, Natasha Moskaljov, Sark

    2nd Place: ‘Building a Nest During Lockdown’, Sandra Noel, Jersey

    3rd Place: ‘Kestrel’, Victoria Punch, Guernsey

  • Young People’s Category

    1st Place: ‘Jackdaw Gifts’, Emily Hunt, Warwickshire

    2nd Place: ‘At the Bus Stop’, Oshadha Perera, New Zealand

    3rd Place: ‘An Ode to Tomorrow’, Martha Iris Blue, Cheshire

    Highly Commended:

    ‘The 7 O’clock Bus’, Naomi Miller, Guernsey ‘Empty Sunsets’, Oshadha Perera, New Zealand ‘A Ghost like You’, Millie Addison, Scotland

Poems on the Buses Winners

  • ‘Bouquet’, Ruth Aylett, Edinburgh

    ‘Three Grebes’, Dickon Bevington, Cambridgeshire

    ‘In the Village Hall’, Sharon Black, France

    ‘Picking Olives’, Chris Campbell, Bristol

  • ‘Bakelite’, Bruce Meyer, Canada

    ‘Departing Gift’, Callum Moores, Guernsey

    ‘A Moment’, Callum Moores, Guernsey

    ‘Visiting My Aunt’, Shirley Nicholson, Manchester

  • ‘Tea Bag Dipping in Winter’, Sandra Noel, Jersey

    ‘Till Tomorrow’, Oshadha Perera, New Zealand

    ‘I Wonder If There’s a Minotaur’, Amber Torrens-Dodd, West Midlands

    ‘Paw-shaped Hole’, Issy Whitford, Guernsey

12 poems listed alphabetically by poet's surname.

All poems from the Poems on the Buses Exhibition.

Previous Competitions