The Moth Poetry Prize is one of the biggest prizes in the world for a single unpublished poem. The prize is open to anyone, as long as the poem is previously unpublished, and each year it attracts thousands of entries from new and established poets from over 50 countries worldwide.
The prize is judged anonymously by a single poet. The judge only learns who the shortlisted poets are following the selection of the winning poems. Past judges include Claudia Rankine, Marie Howe, Deborah Landau, Daljit Nagra, Leontia Flynn, Billy Collins and Nick Laird.
Past winners include Michael Lavers, Natalya Anderson, Lee Sharkey, Ann Gray (whose poem was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem) and Abigail Parry (who was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection).
The winner of The Moth Poetry Prize 2021 was the American poet Michael Lavers. You can watch him read his poem ‘Chaos Soliloquy’ here.
Warsan Shire, a Somali-British writer and poet, served as the first Young Poet Laureate of London and is the youngest member of the Royal Society of Literature. Shire wrote the poetry for the visual album Lemonade and the film Black Is King in collaboration with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. She also wrote the short film Brave Girl Rising, highlighting the voices of Somali girls in Africa’s largest refugee camp. Her first full collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, will be published by Chatto & Windus in March 2022 (with a limited edition coming out with flipped eye publishing).
HOW TO ENTER
The Prize is open to anyone (over 16), as long as the work is original and previously unpublished.
There is no line limit, and the poems can be on any subject.
• 1st prize: 6,000 €
• 3 runner-up prizes of €1,000
• 8 prizes of €250 for commended poems
Entry fees:- The entry fee is €15 per poem. You can enter online or send your poem(s) along with a cheque or postal order made payable to ‘The Moth Magazine Ltd.’ with an entry form or a cover letter with your name and contact details and the title of your poem(s) attached to: The Moth, Ardan Grange, Milltown, Belturbet, Co. Cavan, Ireland H14 K768.
**If you are concerned about formatting online, please go through the online process and then email your poem as a Word attachment with your entry number directly to [email protected]** Please remember to read the rules of the competition before you enter.