The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2020 awards first place to Rosamund Taylor, for her poem ‘The Proof’, as part of its annual competition.

Steven O’Brien, co-editor of The London Magazine, praised ‘The Proof’ for being “apt, polished and daring”, commenting further that “Rosumund Taylor’s urgent, gem-like winning submission shows that the great linguistic machine of poetry still thrives.

“Congratulations also go to the second and third prize winners Toby Campion and Nairn Kennedy for their masterful poems that both live in the moment and yet endure. The London Magazine‘s 2020 poetry competition attracted many great submissions. There are serious poets out there creating great word-music.”

Submissions were read anonymously by the panel of judges, Ella Frears, Joe Dunthorne and Roger Robinson. We received twice as many entries as last year and competition was fierce. So thank you to everyone who took the time to enter to the competition, for contributing such quality work, and in doing so, raising the bar for us yet again. 

Rosamund Taylor (pictured) wins The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2020

Rosamund Taylor has previously won the Mairtín Crawford Award for poetry at the Belfast Book Festival in 2017. In 2019, she was recipient of a Words Ireland mentorship and placed third for the Ginkgo Prize for Eco Poetry. 

Following the prize-giving, Ella Frears commented:

“It was such a pleasure judging this year’s London Magazine Poetry Prize, with Roger and Joe. The poems submitted demonstrated a wide range of styles, form, and subject matter. And it was exciting especially during lockdown to spend some time in your landscapes, with your memories, voices, and ideas.

“Our top three were: ‘Unearthly music’, with its haunting, bizarre imagery; ‘Whenever someone asks if I think I’ll have children I whip out the tarot’, with its exciting use of form and dark humour; and ‘The Proof’, which impressed us all with its fluency, its earthy tenderness, a poem that draws you in and rewards re-reading. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.”

The full list of winners, celebrated for their  innovative poetry, includes:

  • First place: ‘The Proof’ by Rosamund Taylor
  • Second place: ‘Whenever someone asks if I think I’ll have children I whip out the tarot’ by Toby Campion
  • Third place: Unearthly music’ by Nairn Kennedy

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

The London Magazine has been home to some of the most prestigious poets in its long publishing history, from John Keats to Sylvia Plath and Derek Walcott. Our annual Poetry Prize seeks out new voices in poetry, providing a platform for publication in the UK’s oldest literary journal.

For a chance to win up to £500, keep an eye out for The London Magazine Short Story Prize, which is to open for submissions in the New Year. Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram for the latest announcements.


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