Timothy Corsellis Prize 2015

After an extremely successful first year, the Timothy Corsellis Prize for poems responding to Second World War poetry returns, with a new Young Critics Prize running alongside the Poetry Prize.

This competition is now closed. Catch up on the winning poems here!

‘Ready to Go’ – Battle of Britain Memorial by Feggy Art

Last year, we were delighted to receive hundreds of entries for the inaugural Timothy Corsellis Prize. Timothy was a young poet and pilot killed in 1941, and the Prize was set up in his name with the support of his family, to encourage more people to read the powerful but lesser-known poets of the Second World War.

The Timothy Corsellis Poetry Prize asks you to respond to the life and/or work of a small selection of Second World War poets: Keith Douglas, Sidney Keyes, Alun Lewis, John Jarmain, Henry Reed and Timothy Corsellis.

This year we have added a Young Critics Prize, for short essays of 500-1,500 words exploring which three poets (Keith Douglas, Sidney Keyes, Alun Lewis, John Jarmain, Henry Reed or Timothy Corsellis) are most likely to be read in twenty years’ time and why.

The judges for both Prizes will be Professor Fran Brearton (for the War Poets Association), a leading authority on War Poetry, Nic Vanderpeet from Imperial War Museums and Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, Master of Magdalene College Cambridge and noted poet. Everyone involved with the Prize last year was impressed and excited by the quality of submissions, so we are all looking forward to reading your work this year.

How to enter the Timothy Corsellis Poetry Prize

  1. Read this brief article placing Second World War Poetry in the context of the history of war poetry.
  2. Read more about the six WWII poets featured in the Prize.
  3. Choose one or more poet/s and write a poem in response to their life and/or poetry. It can be anything about their life or work, whatever inspires you.
  4. Send your poem in the body of an email to educationadmin@poetrysociety.org.uk with your name, age and address.
  5. Include a short commentary (300 words) explaining the way in which your poem is a response to the life or work of the WWII poet/s.

Sunset-from-Plane-by-Humberto-Moreno-1

How to enter the Timothy Corsellis Young Critics Prize

  1. Read this brief article placing Second World War Poetry in the context of the history of war poetry.
  2. Read more about the six WWII poets featured in the Prize.
  3. Consider which three poets you think are most likely to be read in twenty years’ time. What is it about their work that will ensure their relevance to future generations? What makes their work long-lastingly powerful? Feel free to discuss individual poems. There are no right or wrong questions or answers, and you can approach the prose piece in any way you choose. 
  4. Send your essay (500-1,500 words) to educationadmin@poetrysociety.org.uk with your name, age and address.

Prizes

There will be a first prize winner and two runners-up in each category, who will receive £100 book tokens and £50 book tokens respectively, plus poetry books and posters, and publication on Young Poets Network. The first prize poem will be published in the Poetry Society’s quarterly paper Poetry News. The first prize essay will be published on the Poetry Society’s website.

Calling all teachers

We warmly encourage teachers to send in their students’ entries to both the Poetry Prize and the Young Critics Prize. We have a free, downloadable lesson plan to help bring Second World War poetry into your classroom, which discusses one of Timothy Corsellis’ poems in-depth, encouraging students to closely analyse the poem in order to write their own. We have had several winners from class set entries on Young Poets Network recently, so we look forward to receiving yours!

General rules

  • The Timothy Corsellis Poetry Prize and Young Critics Prize are open to individuals from all over the world aged 14-25.
  • You can send in as many poems as you like for the Poetry Prize.
  • You can send in one essay for the Young Critics Prize, between 500 and 1,500 words long. The word count includes quotations.
  • You are very welcome to enter both categories if you choose.
  • Your work must be previously unpublished.
  • By entering, you give permission for Young Poets Network and the Poetry Society to reproduce your poem and essay in print and online in perpetuity, though copyright remains with you.

 

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