Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2020


The following prizewinning poems were chosen by our 2020 judges, Mark Doty & Mona Arshi
(see judges reports & winning poems here)

  • First Prize, £2,000, Entre-Deux-Mers, June, Amy Glynn, Lafayette, California
  • Second Prize, £1000, Filter Queen, Michael Lavers, Provo, Utah
  • Third Prize, £500, Calf, Elizabeth Cook, London

Commended poems:

  • The Reed Flute & I, Abeer Ameer, Cardiff
  • Drag, Alex Matraxia, Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire
  • In the maternity wing, Ann Leahy, Dublin
  • Anchorite, Christine MacFarlane, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire
  • Red Peppers, David Tucker, Dexter, Michigan
  • Distance Runner, Giles Goodland, London
  • Curfew, Hussain Ahmed, Oxford, Mississippi
  • Secret Baptism, Jessica Cohn, Aptos, California
  • The Tees Roll, Judi Sutherland, Malahide, Co. Dublin
  • Mouth Game, Katie Hale, Penrith, Cumbria
  • Born in the year of the boar, Maia Elsner, Oxford
  • On Reading Olav Hague, Margaret Wilmot, Polegate, E. Sussex
  • england poz, Mark Chamberlain, London
  • Crown Shyness, Mark Granier, Bray, Co. Wicklow
  • Irresolution, Matthew Griffiths, London
  • First Inoculation, Owen Lewis, New York
  • Driving in the Dark, Paul McMahon, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
  • Nature Table, Robert Walton, Bristol
  • Pouch, Sharon Black, Gardoussel, France
  • Wimbledon 2020, Vanessa Lampert, Wallingford, Oxfordshire
  • Washing Dishes: Reading Anna Akhmatova, Yvonne Blomer,Victoria, British Columbia

closed mon 28 sep 2020

judges mark doty & mona arshi

  • Mark Doty is an American poet & memoirist, winner of Stonewall, Robert Creeley, Lambda Literary & National Book Awards & a former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. His books of essays include Still Life with Oysters and Lemon, memoir includes Firebird & Dog Years, & his 13 poetry collections range from Turtle, Swan (1987) to Deep Lane: Poems (Norton, 2015). His latest publication is What is the Grass: Walt Whitman in my Life (Norton & Cape, April 2020).
  • Mona Arshi worked as a Human Rights lawyer at Liberty before starting to write poetry: her debut, Small Hands won the 2015 Forward Best First Collection Prize, her poems have featured in Poems on the Underground & she was recently commissioned to write a programme on The Odyssey for BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week. Her latest collection is Dear Big Gods (Pavilion Poetry, 2019).

judges read all poems submitted


  • Poems: Poems may be submitted from any country & must be in English, must each be no longer than 45 lines, must show title & poem only, must not show poet’s name, must be the original work of the entrant (no translations) & must not have been previously published; no text alterations accepted after submission; no limit on number of poems or number of subsequent submissions.
  • Submission: Email only, no postal entries: email your poems as attachments (.doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf only) to; include in email: Poet’s Name & Address, Phone Number, List of Titles, Number of Poems, Total Fees, & PayPal Receipt Number.
  • Fees: £5/€6/$7 per poem (Sterling/Euro/US-Dollars only); payment via PayPal (see below, PayPal account not required).
  • Timeline: Submit by midnight (your local time) on Mon 28 Sep 2020; prize-winners will be contacted in week commencing Mon 16 Nov 2020.
  • Acknowledgement/Results: Submissions acknowledged within 14 days of receipt; results posted on website after our Mon 23 Nov 2020 prize-night event; judges’ decision is final; no correspondence entered into.
  • Email Address: By including email address you agree to receiving emails regarding annual Troubadour International Poetry Prize. You will not receive emails regarding Coffee-House Poetry readings & classes unless specifically requested.
  • Note re Dates: The 2020 prize is now rescheduled with an autumn closing date (see Timeline above), having been placed on hold due to circumstances in March which made the original June deadline impractical. The small number of submissions prior to that date were cancelled & fees returned.


Our secure online payments are handled by PayPal. You don’t need a PayPal account; all major credit cards are accepted.

To identify your payment:

  • Please note PayPal Receipt Number (shows on–screen after completing payment & in payment–receipt email), & include it in your poem–submission email.
  • If your PayPal name differs from Poet’s Name, please mention PayPal name in poem-submission email. No need to add anything in the ‘Note to Seller’ box.

Our PayPal options allow payment for up to 10 poems at a time. If making a second/subsequent payment, immediately or at a later date, there's still no need to add anything in the ‘Note to Seller’ box.

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