The Greek Bicentennial Poetry Pamphlet Prizes
We are delighted to announce these one-off prizes for new work in poetry in the English language and for original illustrations.
Poetry Prize: £10,000* and publication of your portfolio as a pamphlet, with illustrations and Greek translations, distributed internationally
Illustration Prize: £5,000* and publication of your illustrations in a pamphlet, alongside the winning poems, distributed internationally
The Greek Bicentennial Pamphlet will be a volume of new creative work supported entirely by Marina, Lady Marks, and will form part of the 2021 Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets. It will be distributed in the UK, US and Greece, and will be available from December 2021.
Entries will open March 1st 2021 via this website.
Deadline for Entries: Friday 18th June 2021, midnight (UK time).
Poetry Judges: Ruth Padel, David Constantine, Natasha Bershadsky
Illustration Judge: Antony Griffiths
Poetry Translator: Haris Psarras
How to enter
Portfolios must be clearly inspired by the themes described below (see ‘The Greek Bicentennial’).
Poetry portfolio: a maximum combined length of 150 lines of poetry.
Illustration portfolio: a minimum of five and a maximum of eight illustrations.
The prize is open internationally to new and established writers and illustrators of any age.
*Terms and conditions will apply.
The Greek Bicentennial
We are inviting poets and illustrators to reflect on the culture and history of the Greeks, from ancient to contemporary times, on the occasion of the Bicentennial celebration of the creation of Modern Greece.
We would like to honour the richness and vitality of Greek culture, its complexity and continual reinvention, its many traditions, its humanist philosophy, its cosmopolitanism and its lasting impact on the world as we know it.
Please research these themes and consider your own personal responses to them before creating and submitting your work. The judges will look for depth of understanding of the subject as well as the quality of the poetry and illustrations.
Further helpful information about the Greek Bicentennial can be found in many places online.
If you would like a suggested reading list, please request one by contacting the Michael Marks Awards Administrator. We would like to thank Nektaria Klapaki (University of Washington) and Konstantina Zanou (Columbia University) for their time and support in collating this list.
Poetry Prize Judges
Ruth Padel is an award-winning British poet and author. She began life as a classicist studying ancient Greek, and has spent much of her life in Greece, especially Crete where she assisted on archaeological digs and once sang in the Heraklion Town Choir. She is also a passionate wildlife conservationist and musician. She lives in London, is Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Poetry at King’s College, where she hosts a popular series of Poetry And events, combining poetry with other areas of life and learning. She has published twelve poetry collections, seven non-fiction works and a novel, most recently Beethoven Variations – Poems on a Life, on the life and work of Beethoven, and We are all from somewhere else, a new edition of her prose-and-poetry collection on migration, updated to include the worsening migration crisis everywhere, the effects on it of the climate crisis, and a poem, ‘Dark Water Burning World,’ written in collaboration with a Syrian artist on the refugee situation in Lesbos. In July, she will publish her second novel, Daughters of the Labyrinth, set on Crete in 2020 but resonant with references to Cretan history.
David Constantine was born in Salford, read Modern Languages at Wadham College, Oxford, and wrote a D.Phil. there on the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin. He lives in Oxford and the Isles of Scilly, working as a freelance writer and translator. From 2003 to 2012 he was joint editor (with Helen Constantine) of Modern Poetry in Translation. In 2021 he was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He has published a dozen volumes of poetry, most recently – 2020 – Belongings.
He writes: ‘I first became seriously interested in the language and literature of Ancient Greece in 1967 when I began my D.Phil. Though never expert in the language, I have translated a good deal from it, which has given me great pleasure and helped me in my own writing. It was also on account of Hölderlin, who read the English and French 18th-century travellers to Greece, that with my family I first spent time there and wrote my Early Greek Travellers and the Hellenic Ideal.’
Natasha Bershadsky is a lecturer on the Classics at Harvard University and a Fellow in Poetry and in Ancient Greek History at the Center for Hellenic Studies, where she co-edits Magnetic Links, a poetry project at Classical Inquiries dedicated to ties between modern poetry and ancient Greek traditions. Her research explores ritual and mythological elements of early Greek wars, political and religious dimensions of Hesiod’s works, and ancient dreams.
Illustration Prize Judge
Antony Griffiths was educated at Christ Church, Oxford 1970-4 (Literae Humaniores, ie classical languages and philosophy) and the Courtauld Institute, University of London 1974-6 (MA in the History of Art). He joined the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum in 1976, was promoted to Deputy Keeper in 1981, to Keeper in 1991, and retired in 2011. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2000 and became Slade Professor of Art at Oxford University, 2015.
His main publications are Prints and Printmaking (1980), and The Print before Photography (2016). He is also the author (often joint) of many exhibition catalogues, and numerous articles, mostly in ‘Print Quarterly’, Chairman of Print Quarterly Publications and of the Walpole Society, and a Trustee of the Henry Moore Foundation.
Haris Psarras (Athens, Greece) has published five poetry books. Translations of his work have appeared in anthologies and periodicals in Europe and the U.S. He has also contributed essays and articles to journals and edited volumes. Haris studied law at Athens, Oxford, and Edinburgh. He was Richard Fellingham Lecturer and Fellow in Law at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He is now Lecturer in Law at Southampton.