‘Poetry is an incredibly powerful thing and it is around us all the time…creativity is who we are.’ – Lemn Sissay
This competition will celebrate original work by Jersey poets of all ages, as well as commemorating the inspirational Island writer and teacher Alan Jones (1940-2013). Alan Jones was a poet, teacher and mentor who made a unique contribution to the literary life of Jersey. As well as guiding generations of students and aspiring writers, he was an award-winning poet who drew inspiration from both his native island and his worldwide travel experiences.
An anthology of his poems, Ninety Mile Beach, was published to coincide with the launch of the first Jersey Festival of Words in 2015, and the presentation of the first Alan Jones Prize to the adult winner of the first Jersey Festival of Words Poetry Competition will fall on the fifth anniversary of his death in 2013.
Prizes in the new competition will be presented by acclaimed poet Lemn Sissay at his Opera House show on Thursday 27 September. Lemn Sissay has won an international reputation for the power of his writing and performances. His appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, when he spoke about his experiences of racial and emotional abuse in the UK care system and his search for his Ethiopian birth mother, is regarded as one of the most moving in the programme’s long history. Made an MBE in 2010, Lemn was also the official poet of the London Olympics in 2012 and the FA Cup in 2015. He is currently Chancellor of the University of Manchester and his declared aims include helping more care-leavers to reach university.
The Jersey Festival of Words Poetry Competition is open for entries in three categories (ages as on 31 July 2018). They are: Adult (18-plus); ages 14-17; ages 9-13.
The winner of the adult category will be awarded the Alan Jones Prize and £300. Second prize: £100. Third prize: £50.
In the 14-17 category. First prize: £100. Second prize: £50. Third prize: £25.
In the 9-13 category. First prize: £50. Second prize: £25. Third prize: £10.
Entrants must be Jersey-born or resident in Jersey.
All poems will be judged anonymously.
Entry is free. Each poem must be entered on a separate sheet of A4 paper, typewritten in black and on one side of the paper only. Do not write your name against your poem(s). Maximum of three entries per person.
Entries must include a separate sheet with your name, age if under 18, address, telephone number and email address, as well as the title(s) of your poem(s).
Your poem(s) cannot be returned, so keep a copy for yourself.
Poems must be in English and must not exceed 40 lines. They must be your own unaided work and not a translation of another poet’s work.
Entries must not have been published previously in any public form, print or digital, or have won a prize in any other competition.
Entries may be published at the discretion of the organisers.
Entries should be sent to:
Rue de la Devise
Closing date is 31 July 2018.