Renowned Liverpool poet Roger McGough to judge inaugural Liverpool Poetry Prize

Award-winning poet Roger McGough is set to judge the inaugural Liverpool Poetry Prize – with the winning poems to be performed at The Brain Charity’s Burns Night Supper. The renowned Liverpool poet – hailed by Carol Ann Duffy as ‘the patron saint of poetry’ – will choose the winners of the new competition. The prize has been launched by The Brain Charity to amplify new and contemporary voices, particularly from the neurodiverse community, and encourage creativity, which is beneficial to brain health.

There are two categories; the Open Category, open to anyone writing on any subject, and the Neurodi-Verse Category, for poetry inspired by neurological conditions and/or neurodiversity.

Nanette Mellor, CEO of The Brain Charity, said: “Many neurological conditions can affect the way in which we relate to language – both written, like dyslexia, and spoken, like aphasia.

“Poetry has been a sanctuary to so many people at The Brain Charity.

“It is a place where people can interact with language, both written and spoken, on their own terms.

“We hope the inaugural Liverpool Poetry Prize will amplify new and contemporary voices, and raise awareness of the creative strengths of the neurodiverse community.

“Nurturing the innate creativity we all have within us is deeply beneficial for brain health, encouraging neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to rewire itself.

“We are thrilled Roger is judging our competition, and hope it will be a huge success.”

The first place poem in each category will receive a trophy. There will be one prize of £1,000 for the overall winner. There will be five runners up in each category, whose work will be included with the winners in a poetry zine published on The Brain Charity’s website.

Submissions for the Liverpool Poetry Prize opened on Monday 29 November and will close on Wednesday 31 December at 11.59 pm.

It is free to enter the competition, with a suggested donation of £3 to The Brain Charity for all those who are able to afford this. All entrants must be over 18 and can be from anywhere in the UK.

To submit your poem, attach it as a word document or PDF file and email it to poetryprize@thebraincharity.org.uk.

Click here to view the full competition rules.

The winners will be announced and their poetry performed at The Brain Charity’s Burns Night Supper on Saturday 22 January 2022. For more information about this event, please visit The Brain Charity website.

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