Overton Poetry Prize

In memory of Professor Bill Overton (1946-2012), the School of the Arts, English and Drama offers this prize for a sequence of poems on any subject, up to 300 lines.

The first-placed entry will be published in chapbook form. There will be two further prizes of £50 each.

Much of Bill’s teaching and writing was on poetry, and the proceeds from this competition fund an early-career poet in residence for Loughborough University. Students from the School can study Creative Writing modules at BA level, and undertake an MA and PhD in Creative Writing. We hope that this poetry prize, set up in Bill’s memory, will contribute to the creative life of the School of the Arts, English and Drama and the experience of our students.

The competition runs on an annual basis. Please visit the Overton Poetry Prize page for further details and how to apply.

Overton Poetry Prize 2017

Congratulations to Pnina Shinebourne, winner of the Overton Poetry Prize 2017 with a sequence of poems entitled Uproot.

Evolved from life stories, Pnina’s poetry explores aspects of identity in a dialogue between roots and routes in a world on the move.

Describing her work, Pnina said: “The poems in this pamphlet capture the Ethiopian Jewish community’s quest for reaching a mythical Jerusalem, through crossings of deserts, dislocation and loss. They expose the clash between a place in the imagination, and the harsh reality of trying to make sense of a totally different social and cultural world. This is a story of vision and resilience, and of an emergence of a multidimensional sense of belonging through new configurations of multiple voices and places.”

As the winner of this year’s competition, Pnina will have her work published in chapbook form. Pnina said she was “delighted and honoured” to have won and hopes that the pamphlet will enable more readers to access stories and experiences of migration.

Congratulations are also due to Julie Lumsden for her poem series Dog Days and joint entrants Maria Isakova & Michael Brown for their poems titled …An Ache in Each Welcoming Kiss, who are the two runners up, and will each receive a £50 Amazon voucher.

This year’s competition attracted almost 100 entries – more than in any other year – from as far afield as New Zealand and the USA. It was judged by poet Helen Calcutt and Dr Kerry Featherstone, Programme Director for Loughborough’s MA in Creative Writing.

Kerry said: “Judging was particularly difficult this year, not because of the number of entries but the quality of the writing. Several of the entries would make a great pamphlet in their own right, and we spent many hours making our decision.”


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