Poets are asked to write on the 2021 theme of ‘Writ in Water’.
Our inspiration is John Keats’ gravestone in Rome, whose epitaph reads: ‘Here lies one whose name was writ in water.’ This year’s Keats-Shelley Prizes are part of our wider KS200 programme, commemorating the death of John Keats, who was aged just 25, 200 years ago on 23rd February 1821.
Rules and Formatting
Poets can interpret ‘Writ in Water’ freely – whether about water, writing, death, immortality, time, or any combination thereof. Poems can be comic or serious, avant garde or traditional, but the judges do advise that works drifting too far from the theme will not be considered.
Poetry judge Deryn Rees-Jones writes: ‘For me good poems adhere to no rules…except the one necessary to their own creation. Often a poem will stand out because of its precision and its ability to harness and also liberate a particular kind of energy. I think that’s to do with being able to feel and know something which is acute and subtle at the same time. The poem will be able to say something that only it can say.’
Poems should be:
Entries must be original. Plagiarism will not be accepted. The poem must not have been published previously, either in print or online or in any other media, nor previously submitted to us.
You can enter more than one poem, but each entry requires a separate payment.
Cost of Entry per poem: £10.