Nature And Place Poetry Competition 2021

Nature And Place Poetry Competition 2021

The RSPB, BirdLife International and the Cambridge Conservation Initiative working in collaboration with Poetry Magazine The Rialto.

2021 has been another amazing year for the RSPB, BirdLife & CCI Rialto Poetry Competition on Nature and Place. There was an abundance of wonderful writing with almost 1500 entrants submitting 3100 poems. This year the competition was judged by Radio 4 & 4 Extra’s inaugural Poet-in-Residence, Daljit Nagra.

Daljit, who is on the Council of the Royal Society of Literature has had his prize-winning poetry published in The New Yorker, the LRB and the TLS, and his journalism in the FT and The Guardian. Daljit’s four poetry collections, all with Faber & Faber, have won the Forward Prizes for Best Individual Poem, and for Best First Collection, the South Bank Show Decibel Award, the Cholmondeley Award, and have been shortlisted for the Costa Prize and, twice, for the TS Eliot Prize.

We have now received the judges results from Daljit and are delighted to announce that this years’ winners are:

1st Prize of £1000 – ‘They say you sleep 1/3 of your life in the dark with animals’ by Simon Costello
2nd Prize of £500 – ‘the eighteenth brumaire’ – Dipanjali Roy
3rd Prize of £250 – ‘Marshall Mount Road at Dusk’ – Peter Ramm
Additional Prize of A personal tour of Wicken Fen with Nick Davies  -‘Reasons for Sanderlings’ by Jane Lovell

The four prize winning poems will be published in issue 97 of The Rialto.

Daljit also selected eight highly commended poems:

‘Sexing Chicks’ by Ali Lewis
‘Feeding my period blood to the Wordsworths’ garden’ by Anna Selby
‘Psalm’ by David Underdown
‘Puir Finch’ by Douglas McKenzie
‘Route Canal’ by Mantra Mukim
‘Wolves of Chernobyl’ by Ned Balbo
‘Magpie’ by Rich Ware
‘The Bowl’ by Tristram Fane Saunders

We will be celebrating the winners with an online poetry reading on 7th July 2021. 

Daljit Nagra,  along with the 2021 Prize winners, will be reading their poems at a live online event on 7th July.

CCI will be hosting the event which starts at 7pm on the 7th July 2021. The event is free and will be hosted online through Zoom. To book a ticket please email Matthew Howard at the RSPB before 2nd July on matthew.howard@rspb.org.uk

Numbers are limited. The link and password for the event will then be sent in the week before the event.

Here are some comments from the audience who attended the 2020 poetry evening:

A wonderful and provocative tonic

Pascal’s reading was so outstanding – a master class that I won’t forget

My goodness what an event, I loved it!  It was by far the best zoom event I have sat in on and I say that because it was seamless in transition and no distractions

Many thanks to Daljit and Nick for their generosity in working with us and indeed to everyone who entered the competition. Further information can be found on the Rialto website:

https://www.therialto.co.uk/pages/2021/04/14/nature-and-place-2021-winners-announced/