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Samuel Palmer The Harvest Moon c 1833

Yale Centre for British Art Paul Mellon Collection

Keats Deathbed

Joseph Severn  Keats on his death bed 1821



Keats-Shelley Prize

Shortlists for 2015


Jean Atkin
Geraldine Clarkson
Emma Harding
Karen Hill
Ben Logan
Paul McMahon
Isabel Miles
William Palmer
Lindsay Spratt
Jeremy Wikeley


William Baker
Harry Cochrane
Thomas Coughlan
Stephen Horvath
Anna Mercer
Tuppy Morrissey


The Keats-Shelley Prize is an annual competition for essays and poems on Romantic themes. Inaugurated in 1998, the Prize encourages writers to respond creatively to the work of the Romantics. 

£4,000 in Prize Money

NEW! Essay Class for 16-18 year Olds

The Keats-Shelley Memorial Association is delighted to announce that the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy CBE FRSL, has been appointed as Chair of the judges of the Keats-Shelley Prize 2015. Poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy is herself a multi-award-winning writer: her prizes include the Somerset Maugham, Eric Gregory, Forward, National Poetry, Whitbread, T.S. Eliot, Costa and Pen/Pinter. She published her first anthology at the age of nineteen.
Carol Ann Duffy became the first woman poet laureate in 2009 and her poetry has been on the National Curriculum since 1994. She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry and Creative Director of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

Carol Ann Duffy Portrait
Carol Ann Duffy

Judges Panel 

Poetry: Matthew Sweeney and Jo Shapcott

Essays: Professor Simon Bainbridge and Professor Sharon Ruston


Entry is now closed for the 2015 Keats-Shelley Prize and entries are with the judges.  Please check this page for further up-dates.


How to Enter
Poems must not exceed 40 lines. They should focus on the theme Watcher of the Skies and should not be a pastiche.
Essays, on any aspect of the work or lives of the Romantics and their circles, should not exceed 3,000 words including quotations, and should be written in a clear accessible style. All sources must be acknowledged.
Essays in the new 16-18 class should be no more than 1,500 words including quotations. Entrants in this class should be 16 or over on 1st January 2015 and no more than 18 on 13th March 2015. 

Deadline for all entries 1st February 2015

Entries must be unpublished either in print or on-line and original work not previously submitted. Copyright will be assigned to the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association and your entry will be deemed as consent to first publication in journals nominated by the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association

Your Entry
Email entries should be sent in Microsoft Word format to

Postal entries, please send 3 typed A4 copies to: Keats-Shelley Prize, c/o Beaufort Montague Harris Solicitors, Old Bank House, 79 Broad Street, Chipping Sodbury BS37 6AD     

Entries will be ackowledged
All entries must be accompanied by the completed Entry Form downloaded here.
NB all entries are sent to the judges anonymously so please do not put your name on your actual entry.

Each entry costs £5.00. You may enter up to two poems and/or two essays.
You can pay by paypal via our website or post a cheque or money order. Cheques should be made payable to KSMA and sent together with your entry to the address above.
NB Entries to the 16-18 essay class are FREE.

Winners will be notified in April and a presentation ceremony will take place in London on 21st April


Irish Winners 2013

Winners of the Keats-Shelley Prize 2013 were announced at the Awards Ceremony on 7th November by the Prize Chair Salley Vickers. For the first time both First Prizes of £1,000 went to Irish writers. A total of three poets and three essayists were each awarded a share of the prize money which was increased this year, thanks to a generous and anonymous donor. The Awards evening was sponsored by Beaufort Montague Harris, Solicitors and The Cowley Foundation.

The judges' panel were: poets Matthew Sweeney and John Hartley Williams, for poetry, and Professors Sharon Ruston and Simon Bainbridge, for essays.

First Prize:  Patrick Cotter,   Madra

Joint Second Prize: Polly Atkin, Buzz Pollination and Will Kemp,  Another Weekday in March

Winning Essay:  Eleanor Fitzsimons, The Shelleys in Ireland: passion masquerading as insight.

Second Prize Essay: Alex Latter, The Place of Rhyme in John Clare’s Northborough Poems

Third Prize Essay: Sara Daoud , Orientalism in Lord Byron’s Turkish Tales

After presenting the prizes Salley Vickers gave a talk on Why Poetry Matters.

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Salley Vickers, Prize Chair 2013

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Patrick Cotter, Winner of the Poetry Prize 2013

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Eleanor Fitzsimons, Winner of the Essay Prize

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Will Kemp, Joint Second Prize              Daisy Atkin, Joint Second Prize          Alex Latter, Second Prize, Essay

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Sara Daoud, Third Prize, Eassay


        The Keats-Shelley Prize is sponsored by The Cowley Foundation and Beaufort Montague Harris, Solicitors.

                             You can read winning poems from previous years on the Poetry Gallery page