How to Enter
The 18th Christopher Tower Poetry Competition, the UK’s most valuable prize for young poets, has opened for entries, and this year students between 16-18 years of age are challenged to write a poem on the theme of ‘Underwater’.
The closing date for entries is 1 March 2019.
Winners will be announced on 29 March 2019.
Submit your entry using the form below
Angela Leighton is Professor of English and Senior Research Fellow in poetry at Trinity College, Cambridge. Her books include Shelley and the Sublime (1984), Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1986), Victorian Women Poets: Writing Against the Heart (1992), On Form: Poetry, Aestheticism, and the Legacy of a Word (2007) and, most recently, Hearing Things: The Work of Sound in Literature (2018). In addition, she has published four volumes of poetry: A Cold Spell (2000), Sea Level (2007), The Messages (2012) and Spills (2016). A pamphlet, Five Poems, was published this year.
Dr Vidyan Ravinthiran was born in Leeds, educated at Oxford and Cambridge, and has taught at the universities of Durham and Birmingham. He currently teaches at the University of Birmingham and is an editor of Prac Crit, an online magazine of poetry and poetics, as well as a selector for the Poetry Book Society. Dr Ravinthiran’s debut full-length collection Grun-tu-molani was published by Bloodaxe in 2014 and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize, and the 2015 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. Other works include Elizabeth Bishop’s Prosaic (Bucknell, 2015), winner of both the University English Prize and the Warren-Brooks Award for Outstanding Literary Criticism. Poems towards his second collection, The Million-petalled Flower of Being Here, due from Bloodaxe in 2019, won a Northern Writers Award. He also writes literary journalism, most recently for Poetry (verse) and The Telegraph (fiction), and is represented as an author of fiction by the Wylie Agency.
Professor Peter McDonald
Professor Peter McDonald, FEA, is a poet, critic, and scholar. He was born in Belfast in 1962 and has been Tutor and Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge, Lecturer and Reader in English at the University of Bristol, and is the first Christopher Tower Student and Tutor in Poetry in the English Language at Christ Church, Oxford, and holds a lectureship in the English Faculty at the University of Oxford. He has written poetry since his teens, and won the Newdigate Prize in 1983. He published his first collection of poems, Biting the Wax, in 1989, followed by Adam’s Dream (1996), Pastorals (2004), The House of Clay (2007), Torchlight (2011), and his sixth collection, Collected Poems (2012). The Homeric Hymns, a PBS recommended translation, has recently been published by Carcanet as has Herne the Hunter. McDonald has been a prolific writer on modern and contemporary poetry, and his criticism appears regularly in The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review and PN Review, Thumbscrew and Metre.