Copyright 2020 Simon Armitage.

The Laurel Prize 2021 – Longlist

Simon Armitage’s Environmental Poetry Prize 

UK Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, and the Poetry School, are delighted to announce the longlist for the second year of nature and ecopoetry collection award – The Laurel Prize.
Simon generously donates the £5,000 honorarium he receives annually from the Queen to fund the First Prize. Run by the Poetry School, the prize is awarded annually for the best published collection of environmental or nature poetry. This year the Laurel Prize opened to submissions in the English language from poets globally and the list reflects this.
The longlist which was judged by the poets Maura Dooley (Chair) and Imtiaz Dharker and ClientEarth founder, lawyer and poet James Thornton, is as follows (in no particular order):

The Laurel Prize awards £5,000 (1st prize), £2,000 (2nd prize) and £1,000 (3rd prize). There’s also a £500 for Best First Collection. 

The shortlist will be announced on Wed, Sept 22 (5pm GMT). The winners will be announced at a Prize Ceremony on Fri, Oct 8th 2021 at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park following a day of poetry readings and workshops, curated and funded by the Laurel and Ginkgo Prizes. Each event will be dotted across the park, and will require individual booking. 
Simon Armitage, UK Poet Laureate
“A world-wide and world-class selection of books reflecting poetry’s global response to the planet’s precarious environmental situation.”
Sally Carruthers, Director, Poetry School
“To open the prize this year, when Glasgow hosts the COP26 summit, to poets from all over a COVID-stricken planet, has been a privilege. To read such diverse and inspiring, often transcendent, work from all corners of the globe sharing a commitment to unite in the fight for our planet and the life it contains has been an honour and a delight.”
Maura Dooley, 2021 Chair, Poet & Writer
“The urgency of our need to act to protect the world we love has never been clearer. The books we read for the Laurel Prize engaged with that fact with anger, tenderness, speaking directly or by suggestion. Poets familiar to me and poets I was meeting for the first time shook me, made me smile, challenged me, educated me, moved me to tears. What a privilege to read work of such skill.”
Imtiaz Dharker, Multi-Award Winning Poet & Filmmaker
“Reading these books for the Laurel Prize felt like a gift. In the face of crisis, poetry has paid close attention and answered back in as many ways as there are poets. The voices are powerfully individual and yet they are also part of a conversation with our threatened planet and its interdependent creatures. These poets have used all their craft to value what we could lose, and remind us to hold it close.”
James Thornton, ClientEarth Founder Lawyer & Poet
“We read 63 titles in all, and I was touched at how acutely poets are feeling the tenderness of our planet. Just to be entered was a real achievement, and it was good to see both mainstream and independent presses from around the world so firmly behind the prize. The quality of the submissions made it hard to choose among them. And it was wonderful to work with the other judges and Laurel staff to discover this list.”



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