We are very pleased to announce that thanks to support from Newcastle Trades Union Council, the seventh Bread and Roses Poetry Award is now open until the end of September for entries.
Our mission is to promote cultural democracy in all the arts and other cultural activities. We have been running the Bread and Roses Poetry Awards to create opportunities for working people to write poetry, and to encourage poets to focus on themes which are meaningful to working-class communities.
The background this year is a continuing cost-of-living crisis – rising prices for food, fuel and energy, with the value of benefits going down, and increased pressure on jobseekers. We’ll see an increase in poverty in many areas of the country and amongst many communities. Homelessness and poor health are still major threats to working people, including mental health problems. Meanwhile environmental degradation in the UK continues apace, including the extinction of wildlife.
Trade unions have been in the forefront of action to protect working people, through waves of strike actions across the whole economy. They have widespread support, but still face hostility from the Tories and the media generally, and indifferent leadership from the party founded to advance the interests ogf working people, the Labour Party.
As in previous years, there will be 5 prizes of £100 for the best poems, and the judge will be Andy Croft, poet and publisher of Smokestack Books, the best poetry publisher in the UK.
Submission Rules and Guidelines
1. You may enter one or two original, previously unpublished (in print) poems in English, each no more than 50 lines long.
2. You must be resident in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland.
3. Entry is free and there will be five prizes of £100 each for the best poems.
4. Entries should broadly deal with themes relevant to working-class life, politics, communities and culture in 2023.
6. Please include the poem(s) and your name, address, and email contact details in the body of the email.
7. All entries remain the copyright of the author but Culture Matters will have the right to publish them online and in print.
8. By entering the Award, entrants agree to accept and be bound by the rules of the Award and the decisions of the judges. We are unable to respond individually to submissions.
We will publish an anthology of selected poems, and send free copies to all the poets included. Below is the pdf of last year's book, The Shouting Tories. You're welcome to download it and we hope you enjoy reading it. You're also welcome to make a donation here if you can afford it.