The White Review Poet’s Prize 2023

Thank you to everyone who entered this year’s Poet’s Prize, run in partnership with CHEERIO, and open, for the first time, to poets worldwide.


Today we’re announcing the shortlist – a poem from each portfolio is available to read on our site.


The eight shortlisted poets are:


Reem Abbas


Àjọkẹ́ Bọ́dúndé


Courtney DuChene


Marius Grose




Dillon Jaxx


Yessica Klein


Lola Oh


This year’s judges are Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Meena Kandasamy and Deryn Rees-Jones. We’ll be celebrating the shortlist and announcing the winner at Reference Point on 20 July – we’d love to see you there.


The White Review Poet’s Prize 2023 is now open for entries. This year, we’re thrilled to be able to accept entries from poets based anywhere in the world.


The Poet’s Prize is run in partnership with CHEERIO, and is for English-language poets who are at the crucial stage of creating their debut pamphlet or collection. The Prize was founded in 2017 with support from Jerwood Charitable Foundation. This year’s judges are Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Meena Kandasamy and Deryn Rees-Jones.


The White Review Poet’s Prize only accepts entries of poetry portfolios (5–10 pages per portfolio), as opposed to single-poem entries. It is notable among poetry prizes in actively encouraging work which explores and expands the possibilities of the page-poetry form.


The winning poet will receive a financial reward of £2,500, as well as expert, personalised professional and editorial advice and publication of their entry in THE WHITE REVIEW.


In its inaugural year the Prize was awarded to Lucy Mercer, whose portfolio was published in THE WHITE REVIEW No. 22. The following year the Prize was awarded to Charlotte Geater, whose portfolio was published in THE WHITE REVIEW No. 25. In 2019 the Prize was awarded to Kaleem Hawa, whose portfolio was published in THE WHITE REVIEW No. 28. In 2021, the Prize was awarded to Kandace Siobhan Walker, whose portfolio was published in The White Review No. 32. In 2022, the Prize was awarded to Fahad Al-Amoudi, whose portfolio was published in The White Review No. 33.


For the first time submissions are open to poets resident anywhere in the world, and will close at 11.59 a.m. (GMT) on 29 March 2023. For the full entry guidelines, as well as information on free entries for low income writers, please see our website.


We look forward to reading your submissions.






Victoria Adukwei Bulley is a poet, writer and artist. She is the recipient of an Eric Gregory Award, and has held artistic residencies internationally in the US, Brazil and at the V&A Museum in London. A Complete Works and Instituto Sacatar fellow, her pamphlet GIRL B (AKASHIC) forms part of the 2017 New-Generation African Poets series. Victoria is a doctoral student at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she is the recipient of a Technē award for doctoral research in Creative Writing. Her T. S. Eliot Prize shortlisted debut poetry collection, QUIET, was published last year by Faber & Faber and is forthcoming from Knopf in North America in January 2023.


Meena Kandasamy is a poet, novelist and translator. Her latest books are a translation of the love poetry of 2000-year-old Tamil classic Tirukkural (THE BOOK OF DESIRE), and her own poetry collection, TOMORROW SOMEONE WILL ARREST YOU.


Deryn Rees-Jones is a poet and critic. She is the author of a study of twentieth century women poets, Consorting with Angels and the companion anthology Modern Women Poets (Bloodaxe, 2005). More recent books include Erato (Seren, 2019) which was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize, and Paula Rego: The Art of Story (Thames & Hudson, 2019). In 2022 she was in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. She is currently collaborating with the composer Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari; their work will premier at the Eclat Festival, Stuttgart in 2023. She is the editor of the Pavilion Poetry list and Professor of Poetry at the University of Liverpool where she co-directs the Centre for New and International Writing.





Please read all the terms and conditions below.


Entries cost £12, or £20 with the latest issue of The White Review. To enter, purchase a ‘Poet’s Prize Entry’ from our online store, and enter the order reference, along with your submission as a PDF or word.doc, in the form below. Only entries with valid order references will be considered.


There are also 50 free entries available to writers on a low income; if you are a low-income writer and would like to apply for a free entry, please read the extra terms and conditions at the bottom of this page.




  1. The White Review Poet’s Prize will be open to all writers who have yet to publish a single-authored poetry collection or pamphlet (in any language).


  1. Poets who have published, or who have existing contracts for forthcoming, single-authored poetry collections or pamphlets are not eligible to enter.


  1. Poets may only submit one entry each, written in English (no translations).


  1. Poems submitted must not have been previously published, either online or in print.


  1. Entries must be in the form of portfolios; a portfolio must contain 5 – 10 pages of poetry. A ‘page’ contains a maximum of 42 lines (excluding the title). Each individual poem will appear on a new page. For example, a submission of 5 poems that each stood at 60 lines would total 10 pages; a submission of 10 poems that each stood at 42 lines would total 10 pages. Portfolios that are not between 5 and 10 pages of poetry will not be eligible.


  1. Please include, on the first separate page of your submission, a cover letter which lists the titles of the poems in your submission, the number of poems in your submission, your name, your postal address, and your email address. Please do not provide any additional information about your work or biographical history. Entries must be sent in the following formats only: .pdf, .doc, .docx.


  1. There is a £12 entry fee (£20 with an issue of The White Review.) All proceeds go to The White Review (Charity Number: 1148690), which ‘specialises in the publication of artistically or educationally meritorious works of new or emerging artists and writers’, and will help to ensure the future viability of the Poet’s Prize and the organisation’s other activities (print and online publishing, public events). 


  1. Entrants must pay the entry fee of £12 (or £20 with an issue of The White Review) in order to be eligible, except for low-income entrants.


  1. Entry fees and submissions must be made in the following manner: pay for an entry via The White Review’s online store; you will receive an email receipt once payment has been made; submit using the form on The White Review’s website and include the order reference.


  1. Only submissions received and paid for by 11.59 a.m. (BST) on 29 March 2023 will be considered.


  1. Entries that are not paid for, incomplete, are corrupted or submitted after the deadline will not be considered.


  1. The entry must be the entrant’s own original creation and must not infringe upon the right or copyright of any person or entity.


  1. Writers who have published books of prose (fiction or non-fiction) are eligible to enter.


  1. Extracts from the shortlisted portfolios will be published online on THE WHITE REVIEW website.


  1. The winning entry will be published in full by THE WHITE REVIEW.


  1. The winning poet will receive a cash prize of £2,500, to be paid in full no later than 90 days after the awarding of the prize.


  1. The winning poet will receive creative feedback on their work.


  1. Shortlisted entrants will be notified by email when they have made the list.


  1. Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted.


  1. No editorial feedback will be provided to unsuccessful entrants.


  1. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the judging process.


  1. The White Review will have the exclusive right to publish the winning and shortlisted portfolios for eight months from first publication in The White Review. After eight months, the rights will revert to the authors, who may publish the poems elsewhere with appropriate credit to The White Review.


  1. Only submissions which meet all Terms and Conditions will be considered.


  1. By entering this competition, each entrant agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.




The White Review is offering free entry to the Poet’s Prize for 50 low-income writers. If you are a low-income writer and would like to apply for free entry, please follow the application guidelines below. We will receive applications for free entries for four weeks, from 19 January until 17 February 2023. The White Review will grant eligible applicants free entry on a first-come first-served basis.




Free entry for the White Review Poet’s Prize is offered to writers who are on a low income – for example receiving benefits such as Job Seeker’s Allowance, Working Tax Credits, Universal Credit, Disability Living Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance, as well as international equivalents.


To apply, email, with the email subject line ‘Poet’s Prize Free Entry Application’. In the body of the email, please include:


– Your full name

– Your email address

– Your postal address

– A short written statement describing how you are eligible


All applicants will be informed whether or not their applications are successful by 22 February. 


Only one free entry will be granted per applicant.


Applicants must wait to see if their application is successful before entering the Poet’s Prize; The White Review will not grant refunds on already paid-for entries.


All entries will be judged in the same, anonymous way. The White Review Poet’s Prize terms and conditions apply to both paid-for and free entries.


We are grateful to Spread The Word for inspiring and helping to provide the guidelines for this free entry offer to low-income writers.





Submissions are now closed. For any queries not answered above, please contact




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