14 October 2017 - 4 November 2017


20161007 POTY 0022


Calling all Budding Byrons and Bourgeoning Betjemans


The Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year Competition 2017 is about to be launched so now is the time to release that inner poet and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and send us your poems, limericks, ballads, odes, haikus, whatever!

This is the 11th year of the Competition which has grown considerably from those early days.  It has become a respected competition worldwide and a major part of the Festival year.  Last year saw entries from all over the world alongside many from local poets and the longlisted poems are published each year in an anthology, copies of which are available from the Festival Office.

The Competition is generously support by the School of English at the University of Kent who donate the University of Kent Prize of £200 for the winner, £100 for second and £50 for third places, £25 for the People’s Choice and the Best Read poem receives a bottle of sparkling wine courtesy of the Wine Room, Tankerton.   The Awards Evening will be on 2 October 2017 at the Gulbenkian Theatre, University of Kent, further details will be announced in due course.

The Competition opens on 6 March and the entry deadline is 19 June.  The fee for entry is £5 per poem and please don’t forget to attach an entry form.  So, go on, send in your entries whether you’ve been writing for years or are versifying for the first time! 


Application forms and Terms and Conditions can be downloaded here or contact Tina at the Festival Office.  Don’t forget, not only will you be supporting the Festival, you may find yourself the happy recipient of the University of Kent Prize and bearer of the title Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year 2017 with your work going global!


2017 Poet of the year Application Form

2017 Terms and Conditions 


If you would like to find out more about previous years choose from the archives below. To read last year's winning poems click here: Midsummer Landing & Love (Through Lidded Eyes)


2016 competition Overview and winners

2015 competition overview and winners





From 2010-2013 the Festival hosted a Canterbury Laureate, throwing a spotlight on talented local poets. Click here to read more.