If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll remember we ran a poetry competition for Wordsworth’s birthday last year. It was a great success, and you can read the winning poems here.

In fact, it was such a great success we’re doing it again!


So how does it work?

This year’s theme is ‘Spots of time’ – a reference to the famous phrase in The Prelude where Wordsworth talks about moments of special intensity that live in the memory and shape our lives.


There are in our existence spots of time,
That with distinct pre-eminence retain
A renovating virtue, whence – depressed 
By false opinion and contentious thought,
Or aught of heavier or more deadly weight,
In trivial occupations, and the round
Of ordinary intercourse – our minds
Are nourished and invisibly repaired.


We’re inviting short unpublished poems on this theme – either about the idea of ‘spots of time’ in general, or a particular example in your own life, or that you have observed. As this is a Twitter-inspired competition, the poems must be no longer than 140 words (definitely words, not characters). You can also submit up to three poems.

We are delighted that celebrated author, critic and historian, Jenny Uglow, who is also a Wordsworth Trust trustee, will be judging the competition this year. There will be book prizes for the winner and runner-up:


Byrons Women


Alex Larman’s acclaimed book Byron’s Women, described by the Guardian as “no ordinary biography” and by the Times as “a radical questioning of the conventional swashbuckling Byronic stance”.






And Frances Wilson’s Guilty Thing: The life of Thomas De Quincey, which is a dynamic and unique biography of the most mysterious member of the Wordsworth circle and the last of the Romantics.







Many thanks to Alex and to Bloomsbury for the copies of the books.

Send your entries to Catherine Harland, C.Harland@wordsworth.org.uk, by Tuesday 4th April. Thank you, Catherine, for handling the emails.


Good luck!

5 thoughts on “The 2017 Wordsworth birthday poetry competition”

  1. Good afternoon

    Kindly advise when the results will be made known for the Wordsworth 2017 birthday poetry competition!

    Many thanks, with kind regards

    Gypsy Wildrose

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