The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets 2020

The Wordsworth Trust and The British Library, with the generous support of the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, present The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets, in association with the National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales, the TLS and Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies (CHS), in Washington DC and in Nafplio, Greece.

The Awards aim to raise the profile of poetry pamphlets, recognising the enormous contribution they make to the world of poetry.

There are four awards:

The Michael Marks Poetry Award recognises an outstanding poetry pamphlet published in the UK between September 13th 2019 and September 30th 2020. The judges will take into account the quality of the pamphlet as well as the poetry.

Prize
The winning poet will receive a cheque for £5,000. They will also be given the opportunity to be Poet in Residence with the Harvard Alumni Association/Center for Hellenic Studies ‘Spring Break to Greece’. The residency will take place in Spring 2021, exact date to be confirmed.

The Michael Marks Publishers’ Award recognises an outstanding UK publisher of poetry in pamphlet form, based on their publishing programme between September 13th 2019 and September 30th 2020. The judges will take into account the publishers’ philosophy, aims, plans, design ethos and marketing strategy as well as the quality of the poetry.

Prize
The winning publisher will receive a cheque for £5,000.

The Michael Marks Poetry in a Celtic Language Award is an award that recognises an outstanding poetry pamphlet published in the UK during the period between September 13th 2019 and September 30th 2020, and written in a Celtic language (Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Cornish or Manx Gaelic). The judges will take into account the quality of the pamphlet as well as the poetry.

Prize
The winning poet will receive a cheque for £2,000. They will also be given the opportunity to be Poet in Residence with the Harvard Alumni Association/Center for Hellenic Studies ‘Spring Break to Greece’. The residency will take place in Spring 2021, exact date to be confirmed.

The Michael Marks Illustration Award will recognise outstanding illustration of a poetry pamphlet published between September 13th 2019 and September 30th 2020. The judge will consider illustration in any medium and will be looking for a subtle and sustained relationship between image and text, as well as the overall quality of the images.

Prize
The winning illustrator will receive a cheque for £1,000.

Winners

The Awards will be celebrated at a special dinner featuring the shortlisted poets and publishers, at the British Library on Monday 14th December 2020. A virtual event will be accessible in the case of the actual event being infeasible.

 

 

Closing date for submissions: 4.00pm Wednesday 30th September 2020.
The closing date is strict and no entries received after this date will be considered.

 

“These inspired awards recognise that the pamphlet has a fundamental importance in literary culture far exceeding anything suggested by the dictionary – “a brief publication, generally having a paper cover”. For many of the best poets now writing it was not only their first means of distribution but the first ratification of their gift.”
Seamus Heaney

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