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The Moth Poetry Prize 2021

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Poetic Licence

Ben Simmons

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The Moth Poetry Prize is one of the biggest prizes in the world for a single unpublished poem. The prize is open to anyone, as long as the poem is previously unpublished, and each year it attracts thousands of entries from new and established poets from over 50 countries worldwide.

The four shortlisted poems appear in the spring issue of The Moth, and the overall winner will be announced at a special award ceremony at Poetry Ireland in Dublin in the spring of 2022.

The overall winner will receive €6,000, while the three remaining shortlisted poets will each receive €1,000. A further eight poets will receive monetary awards of €250.

The prize is judged blind by a single poet. Past judges include Claudia Rankine, Marie Howe, Jacob Polley, Daljit Nagra, Leontia Flynn, Nick Laird and Billy Collins.  

Past winners include Lee Sharkey, Michael Lavers, Ann Gray and Abigail Parry. 

Warsan Shire is a Somali-British writer and poet born in Nairobi and raised in London. She has written two chapbooks, Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth and Her Blue Body. She was awarded the inaugural Brunel International African Poetry Prize and served as the first Young Poet Laureate of London. She is the youngest member of the Royal Society of Literature and is included in the Penguin Modern Poets series.

Shire wrote the poetry for the Peabody Award-winning visual album Lemonade and Disney film Black Is King in collaboration with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. She also wrote the short film Brave Girl Rising, highlighting the voices of Somali girls in Africa’s largest refugee camp.

Her first full collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, will be published by Chatto & Windus in March 2022 (with a limited edition coming out with flipped eye publishing).


1st prize €6,000
3 runner-up prizes of €1,000 

8 commended poets will each receive €250 There is no line limit. The entry fee is €15 per poem. You can enter as many poems as you like. 


31 December 2021


Enter online: https://www.themothmagazine.co.uk/poem1.asp?ID=

Download entry form: http://www.themothmagazine.com/a1-page.asp?ID=8065&page=41

Rules: http://www.themothmagazine.com/a1-page.asp?ID=2762&page=21

Previous winners: http://www.themothmagazine.com/a1-page.asp?ID=4432&page=35

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