The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2024 awards first place to Dominic Leonard after his poem, ‘The End’, stunned our panel of judges.

Submissions were read anonymously by our panel of judges, A. K. Blakemore, Declan Ryan, and Rachel Long. A. K. Blakemore, a London-based poet and novelist, won the Desmond Elliot award for her debut novel The Manningtree Witches. Her second novel, The Glutton, is longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Declan Ryan, a poet and critic living in London, published his first collection, Crisis Actor, in the UK by Faber & Faber in July 2023, followed by a US release from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in February 2024. Rachel Long’s debut collection, My Darling from the Lions, received nominations for several awards including the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, The Costa Book Award, and The Rathbones Folio Prize.

Dominic Leonard was born in West Yorkshire. His work can be found in The Poetry Review, Poetry London, PN Review, the TLS and elsewhere. In 2019 he received an Eric Gregory Award.

On the winning entries, the judges say: ‘It was an extremely strong shortlist, full of musicality, narrative, wit and unexpected creatures. We were all drawn to particular poems, and enjoyed discussing them a great deal but our winner, ‘The End’, was a unanimous one. I especially loved  its ability to think out loud and move towards that heartbreaking note at its ending, which feels at once surprising but – thanks to the accumulation of detail, the movement of the voice – somehow inevitable, too. The podium places were keenly contested, in the end we opted for two poems we most felt held our attention and which were doing something original, and their own, in language and thought. Well done to all the poets shortlisted, it was a great pleasure to spend time with these.’

The full list of winners includes:

First Place: ‘The End’ by Dominic Leonard

‘I am very happy and grateful to have won this year,’ Dominic says. ‘To receive commendation from such wonderful judges, all of whose poems I admire enormously, is a particular honour.’

Second Place: ‘Today’ by Jordan Hayward

Jordan says: ‘Thank you so much to The London Magazine and to Declan, Rachel and A.K — it’s truly a privilege to be shortlisted in the company of such great poets.’

Third place: ‘Czterej Pancerni i Pies, 1964′ by Chantale Davies

Chantale says: ”Czterej Pancerni i Pies, 1964 was inspired by the Polish television series of the same name (from 1966), influenced by Janusz Przymanowski’s novel with the same title (1964). I tried to capture the mix of nostalgia and kitschiness that surrounds its legacy, the discrepancies and layers of memory and nostalgia, and the influence of pop culture in a context of political change. I am immensely grateful to the judges for choosing this poem, and incredibly delighted to have won third place in this year’s prize.’

As well as receiving prizes of £500, £300 and £200 respectively, the winners are to be published in the upcoming June/July issue of The London Magazine. For more information regarding the print edition, visit our single issues catalogue.

The full shortlist, including those highly commended, is as follows:

‘St Francis Tames the Wolf of Gubbio’ by Dean Browne, ‘Charm for Birthing Difficulties (Remixed)’ by Milena Williamson, ‘The Captain is Again at Sea’ by Anne Casey, ‘The Small Picture’ by Martha Sprackland, ‘The End’ by Dominic Leonard, ‘Czterej Pancerni i Pies, 1964’ by Chantale Davies, ‘Self-Portrait in Mandopop’ by Jerrold Yam, ‘Today’ by Jordan Hayward, and ‘a moth’ by Katie Byford.

The response this year was overwhelming, and we would like to thank everyone who entered the competition.

To discover more content exclusive to our print and digital editions, subscribe here to receive a copy of The London Magazine to your door every two months, while also enjoying full access to our extensive digital archive of essays, literary journalism, fiction and poetry.

Dearest reader! Our newsletter!

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest content, freebies, news and competition updates, right to your inbox. From the oldest literary periodical in the UK.

You can unsubscribe any time by clicking the link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or directly on Find our privacy policies and terms of use at the bottom of our website.