Poetry Space Competition – 2017

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

I am delighted to announce that our judge for the next competition will be Mike Di Placido.

The competition will open for entries on 20th November and remain open until the deadline of June 30th, 2017.


Short Biography:

Mike Di Placido graduated with an MA in Poetry from Huddersfield University in 2000. He has since had two collections of poetry published: Theatre of Dreams (Smith/Doorstop, 2009) and A Sixty Watt Las Vegas (Valley Press, 2014).  His work has appeared in The Rialto, Pennine Platform and The North  (where he has also reviewed poetry), and anthologies by Templar Poetry, Valley Press and Live Canon’s recent 154 – a response by contemporary poets to Shakespeare’s sonnets. He has read at Manchester, Wakefield, Bridlington and Scarborough Literary Festivals, and a youtube clip of him reading his poem ‘Scarborough Castle’, at the launch of A Sixty Watt Las Vegas, can be viewed online.

Mike was shortlisted for The Bridport Prize, in 2010, and is among the current winners of The Poetry Business’s 2015 Yorkshire Poetry Prize, judged by Billy Collins.  In 2010, he was the sole judge in The Poetry Business’s World Cup Poetry Competition. His poems have been broadcast on British and European Radio and translated into German and Romanian by the web magazine PoetryPF.  His poems also feature in a CD entitled Scarborough in Verse (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Oxford Playhouse and Live Canon, 2014).

As well as working on a tribute to Ted Hughes, Mike is currently  engaged on other projects, including a poem and film sequence on Scarborough’s literary, historical and cultural legacy; an expanded account of his ‘magical trial’ at Manchester United in 1970; and a verse play, centred on the malevolent dragon of Old Norse and Germanic myth, legend  and literature, entitled: Delivering the Dragon Stone.


What will I be looking for in the poems entered for this year’s competition?  Well, perversely, I’d like to approach the question in a slightly differently way and ask, instead, what will the outstanding poems activate in me? Same thing, perhaps, but this slant gives the energy and the power to what will prove to be the outstanding poems, I think. My attention will be held – whatever the poem’s length or form  – and I will be taken with the freshness of the writing – the words, images and ideas – which will articulate something important to the writer,  something they have needed to express and convey. There will be a unique-ness in the strongest poems and a fidelity to subject matter – whether humorous or serious – and a demand for them to be re-read.  And re-read.  They will stay with me.

Not all our attempts in writing our poems work as well as we  would wish, of course, but I like to think we do our best with them before we send them out into the world – that we care about them and wish them well. They have a lot to do: transmitting their messages out there on their own.

I hope you enjoy the whole process of writing and drafting.