In association with the Water theme of the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability and Northumbrian Water.
Main Category (£5 entry fee for up to three poems):
1st Prize: £500
2nd Prize: £200
3rd prize: £100
North East Young Adult Category (free entry for up to three poems):
1st prize: £250
Five runners up will each receive £50
Judges: John Burnside and W N Herbert.
Deadline: 13th January 2012.
We want you to think about water in all its aspects and submit poems to us which use it as a theme. If you're looking for some inspiration then download our free prompts sheet as a word document or pdf file.
Water is essential to life and also endangers. It satisfies our thirst but erodes the material fabric of our lives; it is hoarded as a precious commodity and it destroys human life and habitation through floods, tidal waves and tsunamis. It covers almost three quarters of the surface of the globe, and yet its scarcity now and in the future is one of our major challenges. An eighth of the world’s population does not have access to safe drinking water; almost double that number is denied adequate sanitation. Water is at the source of divisive political struggles, and at the same time central to our imaginations as both symbol and actuality.
T.S. Eliot’s great modernist poem, ‘The Waste Land’, used the absence of water as a metaphor for the spiritual aridity of modern life; more recently Alice Oswald has traced the course of a river in ‘Dart’, and Kathleen Jamie has celebrated a more humble manifestation of water in ‘The Puddle’.
This competition has two categories. The Main category is open to UK residents of any age; the North East Young Adult category is open to under 19 year olds resident in the North East of England.