News: 17 December 2020

Simon Barnes is Prize Chair of 2021’s Keats-Shelley and Young Romantics Prizes

We are pleased to announce that 2021’s Keats-Shelley Prize Chair is Simon Barnes. The award-winning sports journalist and bestselling nature writer returns after guiding last year’s Prizes through the Covid quarantine with enormous grace. As well as selecting a formidable set of poems and essays, Simon ensured our online Awards Ceremony was especially memorable by announcing the winners from his birdsong-filled back garden.

As part of 2020’s Prize, Simon talked to the Keats-Shelley Podcast about his life as a birdwatcher and bird-listener, about birdsong and Romantic poetry, and read from his work. Listen to him ponder what nightingales meant to the Johns Keats and Clare below – and who would have made the better birder.


Read more about Simon at our Keats-Shelley Judges page.

Simon’s website is

Follow him on Twitter.

Read more about 2021’s Keats-Shelley Poetry and Essay Prizes: here.

Read more about 2021’s Young Romantics Poetry and Essay Prizes: here.

James Kidd

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