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The Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition is one of the biggest single poem competitions anywhere in the world.

Join us to celebrate the launch of the 2016 competition with a celebratory afternoon of entertaining poetry from previous winners.

Readers include: Colette Bryce, whose 2003 winning poem went on to title her collection The Full Indian Rope Trick, shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize; and Faber New Poet and 2014 poet-in-residence at the Wordsworth Trust, Zaffar Kunial, who had never had a poem published before his third-place win in 2011 with ‘Hill Speak’.

They are joined by some of the latest exciting new poets to win. A joyful demonstration of what taking a chance and entering your work into a competition can do.

Information about the National Poetry Competition, can be found at

This is a ‘pay as you feel’ event.

About The Poets

Colette Bryce

Colette Bryce is an Irish poet currently based in the North East of England. She won the National Poetry Competition in 2003. Her collections includeThe Full Indian Rope Trick (Picador, 2004), Self-Portrait in the Dark (2008) and The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (2014), which was shortlisted for the 2014 Forward Prize for Best Collection. She received the Cholmondeley Award for her poetry in 2010. From 2009 until recently she was Poetry Editor at Poetry London.

Zaffar Kunial

Zaffar Kunial published a pamphlet in the Faber New Poets series in 2014 and was Poet-in-Residence at the Wordsworth Trust the same year. In 2011 he won third prize in the National Poetry Competition  with ‘Hill Speak’.

Howard Laughton

Howard Laughton lives in Canterbury, working as a teacher of English for Specific Purposes. He is also doing an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Kent. In 2014 he was published in Butcher’s Dog, and, way back when, he won the best £100 ever for another competition poem.

Mara Adamitz Scrupe

Mara Adamitz Scrupe has created significant bodies of work in poetry, artists’ books, sculpture, installation, and social practice, for which she has won several awards and fellowships. Her work has been shortlisted or named finalist for several national and international literary awards in 2015.