Recent Troubadour Poetry Prize–Winners

Troubadour Poetry Prize 2017

Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2017

The following prizewinning poems were chosen by our 2017 judges Imtiaz Dharker & Michael Symmons Roberts & read by winning poets at our Troubadour prize-giving on Monday 27th November 2017:

  • First Prize, £2,000, The egg-slicer, Katherine Pierpoint, Canterbury, Kent
  • Second Prize, £1000, The Secret of Happiness, Suzanne Cleary, Peekskill, New York
  • Third Prize, £500, Confessions of a Need to Know, Lindsey Holland, Ormskirk, Lancs

& with thanks to leading magazines & Troubadour Coffee-House, our 2017 sponsors,

  • £100 Troubadour restaurant gift voucher
    The Roadkill, Soul Patel, Northwood, Middx
  • Bottle of Troubadour champagne
    Quickening, Ali Thurm, London
  • Two-year subscription to The Manhattan Review
    Man Talk, Simon Lewis, Carlow, Ireland
  • 5 One-year subscriptions to Poetry (from Poetry Foundation)
    The Viewing, Michael Werner, Jerusalem
    Wunderkammer, Sharon Flynn, Dervock, Co. Antrim
    Uncle, Michael McKimm, London
    Clearing, Jay Bernard, London
    Seasoned With Thyme, Suellen Wedmore, Rockport, Massachusetts
  • 3 One-year subscriptions to Poetry Ireland Review
    The Measurement Institute, Anthony Lawrence, Wynnum, Queensland
    Coundon Road, William Johnson, Cardiff
    1957, Timothy Nolan, St Louis Park, Minnesota
  • 2 One-year subscriptions to The Rialto
    Dear Sadness, Ayesha Drury, Glasgow
    The Bridge, Stephanie Norgate, Midhurst, W. Sussex

Judges’ Reports, 2017

Imtiaz Dharker writes…

The Troubadour competition seems to bring out the best in poets from all over the world. Out of the thousands we read, we whittled to a shortlist of a hundred excellent poems, but then it was particularly difficult to come down to this final list. It was exciting, reading them, to find several conversations beginning, conversations about the world we live in and how we make art in this world. I felt as if I was listening to one voice after another taking up a different thread in the story.

I enjoyed the musicality, the images in many of the poems, not just those you’ll hear today but many of the ones that aren’t on the final list of winners. I did not understand every poem right away, but that didn’t worry me, because often the mystery of a poem just echoes larger mysteries, different ways of looking at what is going on in the world.
While I was reading the entries, I was thinking about how poems smuggle themselves into the mind. Many of the winning poems deal with difficult subjects, but they come at it in a way that looks simple, with language that feels as if it has been newly made. When Anne-Marie finally revealed the winners’ names to us, it was good to see that it’s such

Read the prize–winning poems

Poems: copyright © various named authors. All rights reserved.

Other content: copyright © Coffee–House Poetry 2008–2018. All rights reserved.

The Troubadour is at 263–267 Old Brompton Road, London SW5.

See for details, and our contact page for directions and a map.

Website created and hosted by Lab 99 Web Design.