Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2021

The following prizewinning poems were chosen by our 2021 judges, Linda Gregerson & John McAuliffe, & announced at Troubadour International Poetry Prize Night Online on Mon 6 Dec 2021 (see judges’ reports & poems below).


  • First Prize, £2,000, Balthazar, Sam Garvan, Cambridge
  • Second Prize, £1000, Need to Know, Geraldine Mitchell, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo
  • Third Prize, £500, The Course to Naming a Brook, Alun Hughes, Stroud, Glos.
    Commended poems:

  • Portraitist, Christina Lloyd, San Francisco
  • A Shanked Cable, Andrew George, London
  • What we take with us and what we leave, Mike Barlow, Lancaster, Lancs.
  • A Table of Green Fields, Christopher Twigg, Talgarth, Powys
  • When I Whatsapp you in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Alexandra Corrin, Gosforth, Tyne and Wear
  • Beluga, Gravesend, Sarah Westcott, Bexley, Kent
  • On thi pledging o Orkney ti Scotland by thi king o thi Danes, Ingrid Leonard, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Klepto, Mark Fiddes, Dubai, UAE
  • Keeper, Cian Ferriter, Dublin
  • Hare’s Ear, Charlotte Cornell, Whitstable, Kent
  • Berwick Street Market, Mon Amour, Kathy Pimlott, London
  • Language Therapy, Elena Croitoru, Welling, Kent
  • Gold, Julie Hanson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Dun, Robert Walton, Bristol
  • Lieutenant Willis writes to his brother, Walter Willis, 6 July 1944, Peter Bakowski, Richmond, Victoria (Australia)
  • I’m Hooked On The Jellyfish Live Cam, Julian Bishop, Barnet, Hertfordshire
  • The Etymology of Loss, Mary-Jane Holmes, Baldersdale, County Durham
  • The Librarian, Kathleen Balma, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Anonymous, Patrick Maddock, Ballykelly, County Wexford
  • Four Treasures, Ruth McIlroy, Sheffield

2021 judges’ reports

Linda Gregerson writes…

The great joy of judging such a prize as this is twofold: first, the encounter itself, on the page, with compelling poetic voices, in all their distinctiveness and variety; second, the opportunity for in-depth conversation with a fellow judge about the art form to which we are both devoted. I could not have wished for a finer partner in conversation than John McAuliffe. True gratitude to Anne-Marie Fyfe for giving us the chance to get acquainted, and to all the wonderful poets who provided the substance of our deliberations.

From the Northern Isles to the cornfields of Nebraska, from antiquity to the paradoxical timelessness of the live cam, from the plenitude and bustle of a street market to the stillness of a gable window, the sites and temporalities that occasion the poems in our short list have been bathed in the light of lyric transformation. This is not to say that the tones are always gentle or the vistas reassuring. There is darkness in these pages, as in our world: the suffering of displacement, the treacheries of history, the mortal fallibility of flesh. Anything less would be less convincing. Which is why, I think, I find the poems, each of them, so heartening. The ‘cattle [breathe] out clouds of chaff,’ ‘waters [run]

Read full judges' reports, & 2021 prize–winning & commended poems

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