The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets 2022
Wordsworth Grasmere and The British Library, with the generous support of the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, present The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets, in partnership with The TLS and Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies (CHS), in Washington DC and in Nafplio, Greece. The Awards are also in association with National Library of Scotland and the National Library of Wales.
The Awards aim to raise the profile of poetry pamphlets, recognising the enormous contribution they make to the world of poetry, and to encourage poets and publishers both to develop and to continue creating.
There will be four Awards in 2022:
The Michael Marks Poetry Award recognises an outstanding poetry pamphlet published in the UK between September 18th 2021 and the closing date of September 23rd 2022. The judges will take into account the quality of the pamphlet as well as the poetry, but the latter will be of most importance.
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/summer 2023, 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 18th 2021 and the closing date of September 23rd 2022. The judges will take into account the publishers’ philosophy, aims, plans, design ethos and marketing strategy as well as the quality of the poetry and physical pamphlets.
The winning publisher will receive a cheque for £5,000.
The Michael Marks Illustration Award will recognise outstanding illustration of a poetry pamphlet published between September 18th 2021 and the closing date of September 23rd 2022. 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.
The winning illustrator will receive a cheque for £1,000.
The Michael Marks Environmental Poet of the Year is a new prize that we are piloting in 2022. Please see our separate information, rules and submission guidelines for this prize, and note in particular that the closing date is different: September 1st, 2022. The prize will be judged by a separate panel of judges. It will be given to the poet whose previously unpublished series of poems brings most powerfully, to a wide readership, the subject of the environment and the place of the human within it.
The Environmental Poet of the Year will have their short portfolio of poems published in a pamphlet that will be sold by Wordsworth Grasmere and the British Library. They will also receive £1,000, and be invited to read at a winner’s event at Wordsworth Grasmere.
The Awards will be celebrated at a special evening event featuring the shortlisted poets and publishers, at the British Library on Tuesday 13th December 2022. The event will also be broadcast live online. A solely virtual event will be accessible in the case of the actual event being infeasible.
Closing date for submissions to Poetry, Publishers and Illustration Award: 4.00pm Friday September 23rd 2022. All pamphlets must have arrived in hard copy by this closing date and time, and all online forms must also have been completed.
Closing date for submissions to the Environmental Poet of the Year prize: Thursday 1st September, midnight (see our separate guidelines and webpages for all information about this prize).
The closing dates are strict and no entries received after these dates 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.”