The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets 2017

The Wordsworth Trust and The British Library, with the generous support of the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, is pleased to present The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets, in association with the TLS and Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies (CHS), in Washington DC and in Nafplio Greece.

Wordsworth Trust Director Michael McGregor says:

We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with the Michael Marks Awards. Our involvement signifies our ongoing commitment to contemporary poetry.


The Awards are now established among the most significant awards in contemporary poetry. They are designed to raise the profile of poetry pamphlets, recognising the enormous contribution that they make to the poetry world.

Previous winners of the Pamphlet award are Elizabeth Burns, Selima Hill, James McGonigal, Roisin Tierney, David Clarke , Laura Scott, Gill McEvoy and Richard Scott.

Previous winners of the Publishers award are: The Crater Press, Oystercatcher Press, Happenstance Press, Smith/ Doorstop Press, Flarestack Poets, Rack Press, Mariscat Press and The Emma Press.


There are three awards:

The Michael Marks Poetry Award recognises an outstanding poetry pamphlet published in the UK between 1st July 2016 and 31st July 2017. The judges will take into account the quality of the pamphlet as well as the poetry. The winning poet will receive a cheque for £5,000.

The poet of the winning pamphlet will also become Harvard University’s Michael Marks Poet in Residence at its summer activities in Greece. The residency will take place in July 2018.

The Michael Marks Publishers’ Award recognises an outstanding UK publisher of poetry in pamphlet form, based on their publishing programme between 1st July 2016 and 31st July 2017. The judges will take into account the publishers’ philosophy, aims, plans, design ethos and marketing strategy as well as the quality of the poetry. The winning publisher will receive a cheque for £5,000.

The Michael Marks Illustration Award will recognise outstanding illustration of a poetry pamphlet published between 1st July 2016 and 31st June 2017. The judge will consider illustration in any medium and will be looking for a subtle and sustained relationship between image and text, as well as the overall quality of the images. The winning illustrator will receive a cheque for £500.



The judges are: Phil Hatfield, Curator of Digital Maps at the British Library, Leaf Arbuthnot, Novelist and regular reviewer for the TLS, and award-winning poet Ruth Padel.

The Illustration Award will be judged by Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery, London from 2008 – 2015. Meet the judges here.


For full details of eligibility and how to enter, please click here.

Entry forms for the Pamphlets Award are available here, for the Publishers Award here, and for the Illustration Award here.

Open for submissions Monday 7th August 2017 * Please do not send entries before this date *

Closing date 4.00pm Wednesday 13th September 2017.

Winners will be announced at a special dinner with the shortlisted poets and publishers at the British Library on the evening of Tuesday 12th December 2017.