2023 Poetry Competition and Festival

Entries for the 2023 BHAC Sussex Poetry Competition will open in July!

The Poetry Festival will take place at St George’s Church, Brighton on Sunday, November 26th from 4pm – 8pm. Doors will open at 3.30pm.

More details, online entry to the Competition, and online Festival ticket sales, are available here.

Poetry Competition Prize Details

First prize £1000

Runner up £300

Highly commended £30

First prize in the Student Competition £150

Poetry Festival 2023

Sunday 26th November, 4-8pm

St. George’s Church, Kemptown BN2 1ED

The Festival will feature readings by Liz Berry, John McCullogh and the competition winners, plus the ever popular poetry slam with Hammer & Tongue.

Liz Berry

Liz was born in the Black Country and now lives in Birmingham. Her debut collection, Black Country, ‘a sooty, soaring hymn to her native West Midlands’ (Guardian), won a Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Her pamphlet The Republic of Motherhood was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice and the title poem won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2018. Her latest work The Home Child, a novel in verse, was published in March 2023 (Chatto) and reimagines the story of her great-aunt Eliza Showell, one of the many children forcibly emigrated to Canada as part of the British Child Migrant schemes.

(Photo: Thom Bartley)

John McCullough

John lives in Hove. His first collection, The Frost Fairs, won the Polari First Book Prize in 2012. Reckless Paper Birds, published by Penned in the Margins, was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2019 and focuses on vulnerability and the human body. It won John the coveted Hawthornden Prize in 2020. His most recent collection, Panic Response, is his darkest and most experimental book to date. Its long poem ‘Flower of Sulphur’ was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2021 and the collection itself was both a Book of the Year in The Telegraph and one of The Times’ Notable New Poetry Books of 2022.

(Photo: Lucy Cage)

The UK’s poetry slam people, making new champions and promoting the best in touring Spoken Word. See http://www.hammerandtongue.com/.