2019’s Keats-Shelley and Young Romantics Prizes marks the publication 200 years ago of the first two cantos of Lord Byron’s controversial poem Don Juan. This is
generally considered to be Byron’s masterpiece, but it caused outrage and consternation in England. Byron’s response was ‘all the bullies on earth shall not prevent me from writing what I like and publishing what I write.’
Inspired by Byron’s comic masterpiece, our poetry themes this year are ‘Wandering’ or ‘Fiery Dust’.
2019’s Chair of Judges is Professor Michael Rosen Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths University, London, former Children’s Laureate, and acclaimed author of books for both children and adults.
Speaking about this year’s Prize, Michael says, “It’s easy to overlook the fact that most of the poets we call the Romantics saw their project as political. Keats, Shelley, Byron and the young Wordsworth had great political hopes for social change and their interpretation of nature was intertwined with their ideas of freedom. Whether it’s in their optimistic spirit or in Byron’s and Shelley’s satirical approaches, much of their work can inspire us today.”
The panel of judges includes Jo Shapcott and Will Kemp, and Professors Simon Bainbridge and Sharon Ruston.
Total Prizes worth £5000.
A choice of poems on the theme of ‘Wandering’ or ‘Fiery Dust’. To mark the publication in 1819 of the first two cantos of Lord Byron’s controversial poem Don Juan. This is generally considered to be Byron’s masterpiece, but it caused outrage and consternation in England. Byron’s response was ‘all the bullies on earth shall not prevent me from
writing what I like and publishing what I write.’
Poems should be no more than 30 lines in length and must fit onto a single A4 page. Entries must be original works. Plagiarism will not be accepted. They must not have been published previously, either in print or online or in any other media, nor previously submitted to us.
You can enter up to 2 poems.
For the first time, we are searching for 21st century William Hazlitts, Charles Lambs and Margaret Fullers, to name just three of the most celebrated critics and essayists of the age.
Entrants are invited to review a passage from Lord Byron’s dramatic poem Manfred that chimes with the poetry theme of ‘Wanderings’ (Act III, scene IV).
Manfred, Byron’s supernatural drama, was written a few months after that famous evening at the Villa Diodati which produced Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, Frankenstein. Byron had left England following the breakdown of his marriage and the scandals that his relationship with his half sister Augusta had precipitated. Always restless, he was now a wanderer, and the beginning of Act III, Scene IV, of his poem finds his hero, Manfred, alone in the moonlight, remembering a youthful visit to the Colosseum in Rome…
Imagine Byron was writing today – how would you respond? Reviewers should pay particular attention to subject, tone, form and language. Biographical interpretation is also welcome. Entries should be no shorter than 600 words and no longer than 1000.
You can enter up to 2 reviews.
Download Passage from Manfred, Act III, Scene IV, by Lord Byron
Conditions of Entry
Deadlines for entries 14th January 2019.
You must be 16 and no more than 18 on 1st January 2019.
Entries may be submitted from any part of the world, but must be in English.
All entries are FREE.
Poems and essays are sent to the judges anonymously so please do not put your name on your actual entry. They must be in Microsoft Word format and accompanied by a completed and signed Entry Form.
You can enter in two ways.
1. Download the Entry Form below and send together with your entry to email@example.com
2. Or submit you entry via the website. Click the button below. Please ensure you fill in every part of the form. And please TICK THE COPYRIGHT BOX before submitting.
Entries will be acknowledged.
All questions regarding the 2019 should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org