Building Bridges: Poetry Bridging Communities

Following the success of the New Beginnings project in 2021, the Spectrum project in 2022 and the Kinship project in 2023, Building Bridges seeks to continue celebrating identity and community through poetry. We want the resulting anthology – scheduled for November – to be an exploration of community and belonging, a firm but joyous collection that celebrates what unites us, resolute in the face of those who seek to divide us.

Building Bridges

In a year that has seen wars raging, the news cycle leaves little to raise hopes of unity, trust and empathy. Acts of violence committed in the name of – or against – communities and cultures are on the raise, fuelled by increasingly divisive political rhetoric. How vital, then, to unite and raise our voices in an art form that is shared the world over, and to use this platform to celebrate the rich tapestry of humanity and build bridges across divides.

Building Bridges is a poetry anthology that seeks to provide a platform for stories and voices that have been marginalised, and to celebrate the great diversity and rich variation in the identities and communities of people from around the world and from a huge cross-section of walks of life.



Details | Meet the Judges | Support the Project | Rules & Entry


Competition opened on Thursday 30th May; closes on Sunday 30th June

Longlist will be announced around 1st September

Shortlist will be announced around 15th September

Winners will be announced at a virtual launch (date TBC)

Entry cost: free

Open to: anyone, anywhere, any age. We’re particularly keen to hear from those who do not feel the aspect of community/ies they’re writing about to be represented in traditional or mainstream media. Rules →

Poetry length: up to 100 lines or 750 words (whichever is lower), only one (must be previously unpublished) poem per applicant.

1st prize: £200

2nd prize: £100

Special mentions at the judges’ discretion.

All of the poems on the shortlist will be published in a volume, everyone included will receive a copy of the book, and will be invited to take place in an online launch event.

Meet the Judges

Photo © Jo Cotterill

Miriam Halahmy

Miriam was a teacher for 25 years, and, having worked with refugees and asylum seekers in schools, her writing engages with historical and contemporary issues that affect children across time – most notably the plight of refugees. Her young-adult novel, Hidden, was a Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week, was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and has been adapted for the stage. Saving Hanno, Miriam’s new book, is about a boy who comes on the Kindertransport and reflects on the grief and loss experienced by refugee children.


Photo © Tom Denbigh

Tom Denbigh

Tom Denbigh lives in Bristol with an obscene number of books. He is the first Bristol Pride Poet Laureate and a BBC 1Extra Emerging Artist Talent Search winner. He has performed at the Royal Albert Hall and festivals around the UK, and has brought poetry to Brighton and London Prides. He is a producer at Milk Poetry and has facilitated writing workshops for groups of students from the UK and abroad (he is particularly proud of his work with queer young people). His debut collection …and then she ate him is out now with Burning Eye Books.


Photo © Reshma Ruia

Reshma Ruia

Reshma Ruia is an award-winning author and poet. She has a PhD and Master’s in Creative Writing from Manchester University. She has published two novels (including Still Lives with Renard Press), a poetry collection and a short story collection. Her work has appeared in international anthologies and journals, and she has had work commissioned by the BBC. She is the co-founder of The Whole Kahani – a writers’ collective of British South Asian writers. Born in India and brought up in Rome, her writing explores the preoccupations of those who possess a multiple sense of belonging.


Photo © Matt Dady-Leonard

Will Dady

Will Dady grew up in the wonderfully named Great Snoring in North Norfolk, and now lives in London. He is the Publisher at Renard Press, which he founded in 2020. A publisher of classic and contemporary fiction, non-fiction, theatre and poetry, Renard’s raison d’être is to ‘publish beyond the mainstream’: providing a platform for stories and voices that have traditionally been marginalised. The New Beginnings project was set up in 2021 as an antidote to the less pleasant aspects of the pandemic, and its huge success in attracting stirring entries has made these projects a firm fixture in Renard’s publishing programme.


Support the Project

If, like us, you think this is a really important project, we’d love your help! Please do help us to get the word out – on social media (#BuildingBridgesPoetry) and in real life, as we’d love to reach people who aren’t on Facebook or Twitter (X), too!

This project is going to need money to get off the ground. If you’re able to, please pre-order the anthology or consider becoming a sponsor of the project – in return we’ll add your name to a special ‘thanks’ page in the book, and you can choose your level of support and receive various perks, including tote bags, paper/e/hardback editions and more. Sponsor →

If you know someone who would be interested in the project, please share this page with them! Click here to email them →

Sponsor the Project

Target: £1,000 | Funded so far: £20 | Backers: 1 | 2% funded




£10 | 0 backers

Sponsor by £10 to receive:

  • The e-book edition of the anthology once it’s in print
  • Your name on a special ‘thanks’ page in the book
  • 50% discount (and free UK postage) on a copy of the print edition of the anthology


Print & Digital

£20 | 1 backers

Sponsor by £20 to receive:

  • The anthology in print once it’s published
  • The e-book edition too
  • A set of postcards with the cover art
  • A Renard Press tote bag
  • Your name on a special ‘thanks’ page in the book



£50 | 0 backers

Sponsor by £50 to receive:

  • A hardback edition of the anthology
  • A paperback edition of the anthology too
  • The e-book edition too
  • A set of postcards with the cover art
  • A Renard Press tote bag
  • Your name on a special ‘thanks’ page in the book



£100 | 0 backers

Sponsor by £100 to receive:

  • Two hardback editions of the anthology
  • Two copies of the paperback too
  • A mystery gift book from Renard’s list
  • The e-book edition too
  • A set of postcards with the cover art
  • A Renard Press tote bag
  • Your name on a special ‘thanks’ page in the book



Entry is via this Google form. We hope that this is straightforward, but if you have any queries please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Enter now


We want to keep this fairly simple and open – the only rules we have for entry are below.

  • There is no minimum (or maximum) age requirement for entry, but please bear in mind that if you’re under 18 you legally need to have parental or guardian consent to enter. Anyone can submit, but please read the brief first and make sure that your poem and entry fits.
  • The work must be your own, and we ask that you don’t submit it elsewhere in the mean time.
  • Please do not include photographs or illustrations.
  • Please only submit once – we will only consider your first entry if you enter again.
  • Entries must be received by 11.59PM on Sunday 30th June 2024 to be considered.