Congratulations 👏👏👏 to Cat Turhan who won the 2021 Waltham Forest “best adult poem”, judged by Joelle Taylor, and is one of three poets picked for the the Emerging Poets Development Scheme, launched by independent publisher Out-Spoken Press, in partnership with Spread The Word and New Writing North. The Waltham Forest Echo have reported on it here… 

The 2022 competition, judged by Andreena Leeanne, is open now

Cat Turhan (right) with 2021 Waltham Forest Poetry Competition judge Joelle Taylor

Congratulations to Walthamstow poet Joelle Taylor who has been elected as a Royal Society of Literature Fellow for 2022. To be nominated as a Fellow, a writer must have published or produced two works of outstanding literary merit. Joelle was the judge of our Waltham Forest Poetry Competition last year (photo shows Joelle performing at the awards ceremony). The 2022 competition, judged by Andreena Leeanne, is open now.

Meet Andreena Leeane – our 2022 poetry competition judge

ANNOUNCEMENT! Walthamstow’s Andreena Leeanne will judge the 2022 Waltham Forest Poetry Competition on the theme of COMMUNITY. We’ll launch in late June/early July so plenty of time before we ask you for your lovely poems.

Andreena was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize in 2021, awarded annually to a debut book that explores the LGBTQ+ experience.

Hi everyone, you’re invited to a very special Zoom event on Monday 14 March 8pm featuring the winners of the Waltham Forest Poetry Competition, as chosen by TS Eliot winner Joelle Taylor. Readers include the winner Jane Burn. Each poet will read their winning poem.

FREE event on ZOOM.

Our readers will be LOCAL PRIZE WINNERS Hannah Chutzpah (Commended in Local Prize), JP Seabright (3rd in Local Prize), Pierre Lassegues (2nd in Local Prize) and MAIN PRIZE WINNERS
Zelda Chappel, James McDermott, Sara Levy, Helen Bowie, Sarah Davies, Caroline Bracken, Laurie Bolger (all Commended), Dillon Jaxx (3rd), Amelia Loulli (2nd), Jane Burn (winner).

The competition received over one thousand entries from across the globe and the UK. All the poems were read and judged by Joelle Taylor, who gloriously went on to win the TS Eliot prize for C+nto & Othered Poems.

You can read all the winning poems on the competition webpage:

It was wonderful to hear last week that our 2021 Competition judge, Joelle Taylor, has been announced as the winner of the £25,000 T S Eliot Prize for her look at butch lesbian counterculture in the 1990s, C+nto & Othered Poems, praised by judges “as a blazing book of rage and light, a grand opera of liberation from the shadows of indifference and oppression.