Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry
Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to common questions about the competition. Please contact us only after you have checked to see if your question has already been answered here.

What is a recommendation?
What if more than one poet has collaborated on a project?
What if a poet has collaborated with an artist?
What if something was published/presented/performed prior to 2014?
What if an element or elements of the work, though not the work in its entirety has/have existed in the public domain prior to 2014?
What about new translations of poetry where the original language text was published before 2014?
Is work that first appeared outside the UK eligible?
Can you define “new work in poetry”?
When will the shortlist be announced?
When will the winner be announced?
When will I be able to submit a recommendation?
Why aren’t forms available all year round?
When will recommendations cease being accepted?


What is a recommendation?

Recommendations help bring work to the judges’ attention and play a vital role in helping the judges gauge the impact the work has had. Note: recommendations are not votes.

What if more than one poet has collaborated on a project?

If poets who have worked together to produce eligible work win the prize, the prize money will be split equally between them.

What if a poet has collaborated with an artist?

The Ted Hughes Award is awarded to poets only.

What if something was published/presented/performed prior to 2014?

Generally, this work would not be eligible. However, there may be some room for interpretation of the phrase “first appeared in the public domain” or in terms of the judges’ interpretation of what constitutes “new work”. For example, a performance may preview in 2013, but undergo considerable changes before being toured in 2014; or a monument may be physically erected in 2013, though officially unveiled in 2014. If in doubt, email [email protected].

What if an element or elements of the work, though not the work in its entirety has/have existed in the public domain prior to 2014?

The judges’ and award administrators’ discretion will be applied when deciding what constitutes eligible “new work in poetry”.

What about new translations of poetry where the original language text was published before 2014?

If the translation was new in 2014, then yes, this is eligible.

Is work that first appeared outside the UK eligible?

Yes. (Remember: the poet must be resident in the UK or have UK Nationality.)

Can you define “new work in poetry”?

Broadly speaking, this is a new poem, poetry collection or poetical work that first appeared in the public domain in 2014. “Work” may refer to (but is not limited to) poetry collections (for adults or children), individual published poems, radio poems, verse translations, verse dramas, verse novels, libretti, film poems or poetry in public art. The interpretation of this phrase is ultimately left to the judges and administrators of the award in any given year.

The competition aims to reward poets working not only with poetry on the page, but in other mediums too. Unlike other awards, the work does not have to have been published on the page (in a collection, magazine or pamphlet) but may have appeared in the public domain through another medium, be that through public performance, displayed as public art, or as a film or music recording (these criteria are not exhaustive, the award is flexible in its scope and boundaries). A poet who has made the most exciting contribution to poetry (as decided by the judges) will win the award.

When will the shortlist be announced?

The shortlist will be announced in spring 2015; the exact date is to be confirmed.

When will the winner be announced?

The winner will be announced in March 2015; the exact date is to be confirmed.

When will I be able to submit a recommendation?

Forms for the 2014 award are now available from the Poetry Society website. Remember, you must be a Poetry Society or Poetry Book Society member in order to make a recommendation. Becoming a member is easy, click here.

Why aren’t forms available all year round?

Members may make only one recommendation per year, meaning that they must choose the work they hold in highest regard. By releasing recommendation forms in the September of each year, we hope to encourage real consideration of eligible work, before members submit their form.

When is the closing date for recommendations?

The date by which forms must be received is 7 January 2015. Forms received after this date but postmarked before it may be accepted. Completed forms can also be emailed to [email protected].