Mar 13, 2015

The winners of the 2014/15 Book & Pamphlet Competition


We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2014/15 Book & Pamphlet Competition, as chosen by Billy Collins.

Billy Collins spoke very highly of the standard of the entries:

I have judged a lot of contests, but I can’t recall one where the quality of the poems, one manuscript after another was so high - Billy Collins

Congratulations to the winners — and thank you very much to everyone else who let us see their work. As Billy Collins mentioned, the quality of entries was exceptionally high. 

Details of the winners' collections will be available soon and the winning pamphlets will be launched at a reading at The Wordsworth Trust on Saturday 16th May. 

The 2015/16 Book & Pamphlet Competition will be launched later on this year.


The 2014/15 Poetry Business
Book & Pamphlet Competition Winners



Born in Cape Town in 1951, Basil du Toit has been living in Edinburgh since 1980 and sees himself as an increasingly Scottish poet. His poems have appeared in Poetry ReviewStandNew Writing Scotland and Flora Poetica, The Chatto Book of Botanical Verse.

A gathering of smart poems, sophisticated in their spot-on phrasings, their elegant formal designs, and their clever ironies.  A few of these acutely musical poems belong in an anthology titled 'Best All-Time Sexy Poems'. – Billy Collins

Paul Stephenson was born and grew up in Cambridge. He studied modern languages and linguistics. In the 2012 Troubadour international poetry competition he won second prize. In 2013 he took part in the Arvon/Jerwood Mentoring Scheme, and in 2014 the Aldeburgh Eight. He teaches European Studies and currently lives in Paris.'

Funny and quite serious at the same time, these poems cast a fresh, ironic eye on contemporary life and find a wild variety of fields in which to play.  The colloquial tone and satiric brilliance might make a reader wish to hear more, ideally over a pint or two. – Billy Collins


David Tait lives in Guangzhou, China, where he teaches English. His first full collection “Self-Portrait with The Happiness” (Smith/Doorstop, 2014) was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and received an Eric Gregory Award from The Society of Authors. Poems appear in Ambit, Magma, Poetry Review, The Rialto and The Forward Prize Anthology. His pamphlet Love’s Loose Ends was a winner in the 2010 Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition. 

If the pastoral is not dead, it is at least badly wounded, these upsetting poems remind us.  Instead, the scene is a vast polluted city, where nothing grows but anxieties.  This poet disturbs us with his content and pleasures us with his stark language and thoughtful formal designs.  Put on your face-mask, and dig in. – Billy Collins


Luke Samuel Yates lives and works in the North-West. His poems have appeared in The Rialto, The North, THE SHOp, Magma and on the London Underground. Past work includes a first pamphlet written in twenty-one days in a warehouse residency in north Philadelphia, and The Pair of Scissors that Could Cut Anything, published by The Rialto. 

Here is a poet who has learned how to be clear and mysterious at the same time.  Another pleasure offered here is the way the poems guide us through themselves, as good poems should, one solid line after another.  A truly exceptional gathering – Billy Collins




And, in the Yorkshire Poetry Prize category (sponsored by the University of Sheffield and awarded to the best single poem in a manuscript submitted by a Yorkshire-based entrant), the winner was:

Hannah Stone with her poem 'Buzz Off'

2nd prize goes to John Foggin for 'A Proper Job'; and 3rd to Keith Hutson for 'Civic Theatre'.




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