The Basil Bunting Poetry Award



    First prize: £1000

    Second prize: £750

    Third prize: £250




The Basil Bunting Award poetry competition is open internationally to any poet writing in English. Each poem should be no longer than 40 lines.

The cost of entry is £7 for a single poem, or £5 per poem for multiple entries. The maximum number of entries per poet is 10.

The closing date for the 2016 competition is: 7th March 2016.

Entries will be judged by Don Share.

Entries can be made via the Newcastle University WebStore or by posting hard copies to:
Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts,
Percy Building,
Newcastle University,
Newcastle Upon Tyne,

Payment should be made online or by enclosing a cheque made payable to "University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne" with your entries. See the rules below for further details.

Please enter the relevant price for the number of poems you are submitting, leaving the number of entries as "1". This will allow you purchase entry online. See this example of a 3-poem (£15) payment. After paying the entry fee, you will be sent an email with instructions on uploading your poems.

If you have any further questions, please email NCLA at


About the Judge:

Don Share

Don Share is the editor of Poetry magazine.  His most recent books are Wishbone (Black Sparrow, 2012), Union (Eyewear, 2013), and Bunting’s Persia (Flood Editions, 2012); he has also edited a critical edition of Bunting’s poems for Faber and Faber (forthcoming 2016). His translations of Miguel Hernández, awarded the Times Literary Supplement Translation Prize and Premio Valle Inclán, were published in a revised and expanded edition by New York Review Books (2013), and also appear in an edition from Bloodaxe Books (1997).  His other books include Seneca in English (Penguin Classics, 1998), Squandermania (Salt, 2007), and The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of POETRY Magazine (University of Chicago Press, 2012), co-edited with Christian Wiman.  His work at Poetry has been recognized with three National Magazine Awards for editorial excellence from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and a CLMP (Community of Literary Magazines and Presses) “Firecracker” Award for Best Poetry Magazine 2015.  He received a VIDA “VIDO” Award in 2015 for his “contributions to American literature and literary community.”


Competition rules:


Each poem submitted must be no more than 40 lines long. The title is not included in the line count, nor are any blank spaces to indicate stanza or section breaks.

All entries are judged anonymously: do not include your name on the document.

Entries can be on any subject and written in any style or form.

Entrants may enter up to ten poems, subject to payment of the appropriate entry fee.

Entrants may withdraw entries from the competition, but entry fees will not be refunded.

The deadline for entries is 12:00 Midnight (GMT) Monday 7th March 2016. Any entries arriving after this time will not be considered.


The Prize is open to all writers internationally.

Entries must be entirely the work of the entrant and by submitting you are confirming that all work is your own.

Poems must be previously unpublished. Poems must not be currently entered for judgement in any other poetry competitions, nor have won or been placed (as in 2nd, 3rd, runner-up, etc.) in any other competiton.

Entries submitted posthumously or on behalf of another person will not be eligible.


The fee for entering one poem is £7; for entering two poems is £10; the fee then increases by £5 per poem up to ten poems (£50), which is the maximum allowed number of entries per poet.

The appropriate entry fee to be paid via the NCLA webstore or cheque.

Entry format

Entries must be written in English.

Poems to be single-spaced and a line count noted at the top of each poem, or at the beginning of the document.

Entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title. For postal entries, please include your name and contact details (ideally including an email address) on a separate covering letter.

Online entries should be a separate file for each poem entered, to be submitted online once the entry fee is paid.

The file type of online entries must be either a .doc, .docx, .rft, .pdf or .txt file.

Under no circumstances can alterations be made to poems once entered.


Worldwide copyright of each entry remains with the author, but NCLA may seek persmission to publish winning and shortlisted entries online.

Judging & results

Prizewinners will be invited to an award ceremony at Newcastle Poetry Festival on 6th May 2016.

The judges' decision is final and no individual correspondence can be entered into.