Literary journal The White Review is launching a new prize for poets, who are working towards their first pamphlet or collection.
Building on the success of The White Review's annual short story prize, the Poets Prize is designed for English-language poets who are at the "crucial" stage of creating their debut pamphlet or collection. The winning poet will receive £1,700, personalised editorial advice from a leading poetry editor and two prominent UK poets, and publication of their entry in The White Review’s online and print issues.
The prize will accept entries of poetry portfolios (five to 10 pages per portfolio) and is actively encouraging work which explores and expands the possibilities of the page-poetry form. It is supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and judged by poets Kayo Chingonyi and Vahni Capildeo, and Penguin poetry editor Donald Futers.
Ralf Webb, managing editor at The White Review, told The Bookseller that poetry is currently "undergoing the most radical regeneration". He said: "The success of genre-bending works like Claudia Rankine’s 'Citizen' and Maggie Nelson’s 'Bluets', and in the UK Luke Kennard’s 'Cain' and our judge Vahni Capildeo’s 'Measures of Expatriation', demonstrates how poetry is successfully transforming and being transformed by other forms of writing and art; be it prose memoir, academic criticism, art writing, or even graphic design. The White Review has always promoted artistic innovation and experimentation, and we'll be on the look out for this in the Poets Prize entries."
He added: "By rewarding portfolios as opposed to single poems, we will provide an invaluable platform for the winning – and shortlisted – poet(s) to showcase a cohesive, expanded, and representative sample of their work, in contrast to single-poem prizes and staggered magazine publication."
Webb said that the organisers are "confident" that the shortlisted and winning poets will attract industry attention. "Just as shortlisted/winning entrants of The White Review Short Story Prize have subsequently found publishers for their debuts. We are confident that shortlisted/winning poets will attract the attention of publishers and editors", he said. "This exposure, bolstered by the awarded editorial support, will provide talented poets with a new, streamlined route to publication of their debut pamphlet or collection."
Entries are now open and cost £10 each. Taking inspiration from Spread The Word's London Short Story Competition, The White Review will offer free entry to the Poets Prize for 50 low income writers. Entry information is available from The White Review website.
The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in December.
The White Review recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a move towards publishing online criticism. The campaign is now fully funded with 16 days to go.