Copyright 2020 Simon Armitage.

The Laurel Prize 2022

Simon Armitage’s Environmental Poetry Prize Enters its Third Year, with three new judges at the helm

The Poet Laureate’s annual prize enters its third year with three new judges at the helm: Chair, Glyn Maxwell, Tishani Doshi and Elena Karina Bryne.

The Laurel Prize is an award for the best collection of environmental, ecopoetry or nature poetry. The Prize will further the discourse around climate crisis, environmental and ecological topics and aims to reach new audiences with environmental messages. Simon Armitage donates his Laureate’s Honorarium of £5,000 each year to support the project.

The Laurel Prize is international meaning any collection written in the English language will be eligible for entry. Publishers are able to submit collections from now until 17th April 2022. Only collections published between 17th April 2021 – 17th April 2022 will be eligible for entry. See complete list of Terms and Conditions here.

Glyn Maxwell: is a poet, playwright and librettist. His latest book of poems is How The Hell Are You (Picador) which was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize. He wrote the popular critical guidebook On Poetry (Oberon), and is currently writing a new English libretto for Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman for Opera UpClose. He is Head of Studies and teaches at The Poetry School and was the Chair of Judges for the 2021 Eliot Prize.

Tishani Doshi: is a Welsh-Gujarati poet, novelist and dancer. She has published seven books of fiction and poetry, the most recent of which is A God at the Door (Bloodaxe Books), shortlisted for the Forward Poetry Prize 2021. For fifteen years she worked as a dancer with the Chandralekha group in Madras, India. She is currently a visiting associate professor at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Karina Byrne: former Regional Director of the Poetry Society of America and final judges for the Kate and Kingsley Tufts Poetry Awards in Poetry, Elena’s a poet, essayist, screenwriter, the Programming Consultant & Poetry Stage Manager for The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and Literary Programs Director for The Ruskin Art Club. Elena’s most recent books include If This Makes You Nervous (Omnidawn, 2021), and No Don’t (What Books Press, 2020).

Simon Armitage, UK Poet Laureate

“Now in its third year, the Laurel Prize has become an important international award for nature poetry written in English. This is also a way of recognising the global importance of environmentalism, and drawing together concerned voices from across the planet.”

Sally Carruthers, Executive Director at Poetry School

“Poetry School couldn’t be more delighted to be working with Simon and the judges again on such a meaningful and generous project. To be able to use poetry to reach new audiences with impactful and emotive environmental messages at a time of crisis is an honour.”

Glyn Maxwell, 2022 Chair, Poet & Writer

“Poets have seldom been called upon to act with the urgency that’s now required, but the climate disaster has brought forth a whole new poetic movement in response. The best poetry is always timeless – well now it has to be timely, too – and the Laurel Prize will find the place where those essential rivers meet. I am honoured and delighted to be a judge for the Laurel Prize of 2022.”

Tishani Doshi, Poet & Dancer

“I’m interested in the way poets in the past have made connections with their surrounding landscapes as a way of charting the ecological with the emotional, the outer with the inner. Now, more than ever, we need to listen to the voices that describe what Thoreau called “this wild and dusky knowledge.” I look forward to discovering them through the Laurel Prize.”

Elena Karina Byrne, Poet & Lecturer

“Language is our sixth sense (“Language is a skin” –Roland Barthes) where sight and insight become inseparable partners. Within the context of that empathic exchange, poetry has always played a revelatory role in creating a necessary discourse between humans, animals, and the natural environment – one which, I believe, points to our urgent need for empathy’s culmination: personal responsibility. I am so pleased to share this opportunity to be a judge for the 2022 Laurel Prize.”


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