Spectrum

The Roaring Twenties are off to a troubled start, and although 2022 is a different world in many ways to the beginning of the pandemic – thankfully the majority of us are not in lockdown any more – still fear, concern, ‘culture wars’ are rife, and it feels just as important to keep channelling positive energy into the ether.

Following the success of the New Beginnings project in 2021, Spectrum: Poetry Celebrating Identity seeks to provide a poetry platform for those who feel marginalised or ‘othered’. We want the resulting anthology – scheduled for October – to be a celebration of our differences, a determined and joyous collection resolute in the face of those who would use them to divide us.

 

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

Details


Competition opened on Friday 25th March; closed on Saturday 18th June

Longlist announced on Monday the 22nd of August

Shortlist announced on Thursday the 1st of September

Entry cost: free

Open to: anyone who wants to talk about their identity. We’re particularly keen to hear from those who do not see their identity represented in traditional or mainstream media. Anywhere in the world, any age. Rules →

Poetry length: up to 100 lines or 750 words, only one (must be previously unpublished) poem per applicant.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, and 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 © Hannah Fields

Hannah Fields

Hannah Fields is a writer, editor and publisher from Texas. She founded the independent publishing company, Folkways Press, in 2020, and launched the company with an anthology, We Are Not Shadows, as its inaugural publication. The anthology selected writing from women of all ages and backgrounds and covers a wide range of topics – including issues of race, gender, sexuality, trauma, adversity, disability, and more. She has worked on various publications, from children’s books to award-winning magazines, along with various publishers in the US and UK.

 

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, part of Renard’s raison d’être is to empower and provide a platform to marginalised voices. 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 (#SpectrumPoetry) and in real life, as we’d love to reach people who aren’t on Facebook or Twitter, 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, deluxe 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

We estimate that this project will cost about £1,500 for a basic print run and the cash prizes. As a small independent press setting up in a time of crisis, this is a lot of money! If you’re able to, please consider becoming a sponsor – we’ll add your name to a special ‘thanks’ page in the book, and you can choose your level of support and receive various great perks from the options below. We will keep this progress bar updated as often as possible, to show how close we’re getting. Thank you in advance!

Target: £1,500 | Funded so far: £575 | Backers: 16 | 38.33% funded

38.33%

 

Print & Digital
Supporter

£15 | 5 backers

Sponsor by £15 to receive:

  • The anthology in print once it’s published
  • The e-book edition too
  • Your name on a special ‘thanks’ page in the book

SPONSOR →

Print & Digital Plus Supporter

£20 | 5 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

SPONSOR →

Deluxe
Supporter

£50 | 4 backers

Sponsor by £50 to receive:

  • A deluxe hardback edition of the anthology
  • A copy of the paperback 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

SPONSOR →

Doubled Up and Arty
Supporter

£100 | 2 backers

Sponsor by £100 to receive:

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

SPONSOR →



Enter

Entry to the competition is now closed. Keep an eye on this page for updates! If you’re able to, please consider sponsoring the project to help us bear the costs involved.

Rules

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 Saturday 18th June 2022 to be considered.

Longlist

22/08/22: We’re delighted to announce the longlist (101 poems) for the Spectrum competition, which you can find below (sorted by surname – you can search this page with ctrl/cmd + ‘F’ to find a name). Poems that have been shortlisted are marked with an asterisk; some longlisted poems are available to read online – in which case they will be orange in the list below. In the mean time, please consider becoming a sponsor to help us bear the costs of this important project.

  • Aashi Chadha, Nikita, ‘Not for You’
  • Adamitz Scrupe, Mara, ‘Rope’
  • Affonso, Rayne, ‘God Is a Trini’*
  • Alnuaimi, Samah, ‘My Dear Iraq’*
  • Am Bergris, Caroline, ‘Mother Tongue’*
  • Appleby, Jessica, ‘Screw the Pantomime’*
  • Aranas Aranas, Shalom Galve, ‘The Babbles of Time’
  • Baffour-Awuah, Nana T., ‘Hair, African’
  • Baggs, Steve, ‘The Boy from the Estate’*
  • Bell, Katrina, ‘Mother Tongue (Beau Bassin-Rose Hill)’
  • Binney, Alison, ‘These Boots’
  • Bryant, Cathy, ‘Elderly Swimmers at the Pool’*
  • Burges, Julia, ‘Pink Lady Razor’
  • Burn, Jane, ‘When I Balanced Who I Am Upon the Turning of a Book’*
  • Burns, Rachel, ‘Body’*
  • Cartwright, Chase, ‘Unmoored’
  • Cartwright-Smith, Susan, ‘Transformation’*
  • Charnley, Elizabeth, ‘Cipher’
  • Chidiebere Sullivan, Nwuguru, ‘Memory Is a Mother to Every Little Beginning’*
  • Chiemenam, Arinze, ‘Listen, Stranger Man’*
  • Connolly, Abhainn, ‘T4T (Trans for Trans)’*
  • Cousins, Jennifer, ‘I Am Not What You Think’*
  • Dawod, Neshma, ‘But Where Are You Really From?’*
  • Deep, Martins, ‘To the Caged Bird in Church’*
  • Dib, Pilar, ‘Play Pretend’
  • Dixon, Kat, ‘Olympus’*
  • Dubbs, M.A., ‘A Bi Awakening in a Red State’
  • Duffy, Jennifer, ‘Expressions of Survival’
  • Dumont de Chassart, Natalie, ‘Zimbabweans’
  • Echendu, Elle, ‘Lavender Menace’*
  • Edmunds, Catherine, ‘Inextinguishable’
  • Elizabeth, Rhian, ‘Death of a Sunflower’
  • Erol, Maral, ‘The Driver’
  • Finding, Deborah, ‘Keys to the City’*
  • Gale, Naoise, ‘People Pleasing 101’
  • Goveas, Anita, ‘Some Comments on Your Thoughts About Being British Indian’*
  • Graña, Morgan, ‘No Seriously, What the Hell Is in a Name?’
  • Gray, Anna, ‘Nothing About “Clean”’
  • Hardwick, Oz, ‘Cardiogram Variations’*
  • Harkin, Roisin, ‘Emigrant/Immigrant’*
  • Hay, David, ‘Stain’
  • Herda-Grimwood, Ellie, ‘Grounded’*
  • Hill, Peter, ‘Dissimilarities’*
  • Honeybone, Sam, ‘Mum’s Heels’*
  • Hough, Pat, ‘My Third Age’
  • Ibiteye, Overcomer, ‘Home is Here’*
  • Ireton, LJ, ‘The Wraith and the Magpie’*
  • Kahn, Xavi, ‘Starlings of Burlington Road – For All Working Girls’
  • Kamalakanthan, Gayathiri, ‘Sometime I Buy Clothes that Don’t Fit’
  • Kaur, Mahima, ‘Ritual’
  • Kiely, Tim, ‘Pink Carnations Outside the Russian Embassy’*
  • Lee, Jade, ‘Pinch’
  • Leonard, Matthew, ‘Sunday Lunch’*
  • Luo, Dust, ‘Fantasia’
  • Madlock, Naomi, ‘Sunday Vaudeville’*
  • Martin, Craig, ‘The Gentle Giant’
  • Mayhew, Liam , ‘The Colonial Gallery’
  • McCoull, Jazz, ‘Half-Life’*
  • McPhelim, Dianne, ‘All that I Am’*
  • Mishra, Sandeep Kumar, ‘Do I Belong Here?’
  • Mitchell, Jenny, ‘Barber off the Harrow Road’*
  • Montgomery, Ronald, ‘History for My Undoing’
  • Muriithi, Raina, ‘The Odd Space in Between’*
  • Nnadi, Samuel, ‘Nebulous Strike in Minnesota’*
  • North, Carolann, ‘Penance’*
  • Oakwood, Jessica, ‘The Collector’*
  • Onyebuchi, Ewa Gerald, ‘A Garden of New Song’*
  • Onyekwelu, Chiwenite, ‘On Reading My Transatlantic Poem, She Sends Me the Laughing Emoji’*
  • Owen, Christopher, ‘Elegy’
  • Palit, Somoshree, ‘Burning Bright’
  • Raff, Ivy, ‘A Bicycle Reminisces About 1962’*
  • Raven, Zoe, ‘Songbird’
  • Rew, Cameron, ‘Dance of the Drag Queens’*
  • Reyzl Grace, ‘When People Tell Me I’m “Still the Same Person”’
  • Rhodes, Mia Jasmine, ‘12 Years Old, in My Superman Dressing Gown’*
  • Roland, Summer, ‘Bandit Man’
  • Rose, Jessica Anne, ‘Groundbreaking Lovemaking’
  • Ryan, Kerry, ‘Whale Watching in the Arctic Circle’*
  • Samaraweera, Mayondi, ‘Confessions’
  • Sampson, Daphne, ‘BBC Young Dancer 2022’*
  • Silver, Lana, ‘A Highly Sensitive Mission’*
  • Skyleson, Jess, ‘Changing State’*
  • Smiley, Thea, ‘Be Careful Who You Invite Home’*
  • Smith, Alyson, ‘Back to Black’*
  • Sopulu Odo, Oliver, ‘A Boy From Eastern Nigeria’
  • Tabassum, Nafisah, ‘Why Do You Wear Jhumkas Under Your Hijab? No One Will See It’
  • Tesleem, Fadairo, ‘In Shaa Allah’*
  • Trott, Phoebe, ‘Freedom in Viriditas’
  • Tulfer, Lisa, ‘What I Mean When I Say I Was Brought Up Bilingual’
  • Ward, Noriko, ‘Village on the Cumbria Lancashire Border’
  • Waters, Sophie Laura, ‘Autumn Drive With Father’*
  • Welch, Ozzy, ‘Sappho’s Nightwalk’*
  • Whelan, Paul, ‘Schoolyard Obsession’
  • Whiting, Faith, ‘He’*
  • Wilson, Chris, ‘Ode to Boothferry Estate’
  • Wynne-Jones, Dave, ‘Where Four Worlds Meet’*
  • Young, Damon, ‘Community Payback’*
  • Yunusa (Baṣọ̀run), Habeebullahi Muhammed, ‘This Is What it Means to Be a Yorùbá Nigerian and Practising Muslim, or, Refusing this Biased Shahada of Cancel Culture’
  • Zhang, Lucy, ‘Switched Out’*
  • Suman, ‘Precious’*
  • Liberty, ‘Gamut’

Shortlist

01/09/22: We’re delighted to announce the shortlist (55 poems) for the Spectrum competition, which you can find below (sorted by surname – you can search this page with ctrl/cmd + ‘F’ to find a name). We hope to publish as many of these as possible in the anthology – so show your support by pre-ordering or becoming a sponsor to help us bear the costs of this important project. The winners will be announced in a special launch – information to follow!

  • Affonso, Rayne, ‘God Is a Trini’
  • Alnuaimi, Samah, ‘My Dear Iraq’
  • Am Bergris, Caroline, ‘Mother Tongue’
  • Appleby, Jessica, ‘Screw the Pantomime’
  • Baggs, Steve, ‘The Boy from the Estate’
  • Bryant, Cathy, ‘Elderly Swimmers at the Pool’
  • Burn, Jane, ‘When I Balanced Who I Am Upon the Turning of a Book’
  • Burns, Rachel, ‘Body’
  • Cartwright-Smith, Susan, ‘Transformation’
  • Chidiebere Sullivan, Nwuguru, ‘Memory Is a Mother to Every Little Beginning’
  • Chiemenam, Arinze, ‘Listen, Stranger Man’
  • Connolly, Abhainn, ‘T4T (Trans for Trans)’
  • Cousins, Jennifer, ‘I Am Not What You Think’
  • Dawod, Neshma, ‘But Where Are You Really From?’
  • Deep, Martins, ‘To the Caged Bird in Church’
  • Dixon, Kat, ‘Olympus’
  • Echendu, Elle, ‘Lavender Menace’
  • Finding, Deborah, ‘Keys to the City’
  • Goveas, Anita, ‘Some Comments on Your Thoughts About Being British Indian’
  • Hardwick, Oz, ‘Cardiogram Variations’
  • Harkin, Roisin, ‘Emigrant/Immigrant’
  • Herda-Grimwood, Ellie, ‘Grounded’
  • Hill, Peter, ‘Dissimilarities’
  • Honeybone, Sam, ‘Mum’s Heels’
  • Ibiteye, Overcomer, ‘Home is Here’
  • Ireton, LJ, ‘The Wraith and the Magpie’
  • Kiely, Tim, ‘Pink Carnations Outside the Russian Embassy’
  • Leonard, Matthew, ‘Sunday Lunch’
  • Madlock, Naomi, ‘Sunday Vaudeville’
  • McCoull, Jazz, ‘Half-Life’
  • McPhelim, Dianne, ‘All that I Am’
  • Mitchell, Jenny, ‘Barber off the Harrow Road’
  • Muriithi, Raina, ‘The Odd Space in Between’
  • Nnadi, Samuel, ‘Nebulous Strike in Minnesota’
  • North, Carolann, ‘Penance’
  • Oakwood, Jessica, ‘The Collector’
  • Onyebuchi, Ewa Gerald, ‘A Garden of New Song’
  • Onyekwelu, Chiwenite, ‘On Reading My Transatlantic Poem, She Sends Me the Laughing Emoji’
  • Raff, Ivy, ‘A Bicycle Reminisces About 1962’
  • Rew, Cameron, ‘Dance of the Drag Queens’
  • Rhodes, Mia Jasmine, ‘12 Years Old, in My Superman Dressing Gown’
  • Ryan, Kerry, ‘Whale Watching in the Arctic Circle’
  • Sampson, Daphne, ‘BBC Young Dancer 2022’
  • Silver, Lana, ‘A Highly Sensitive Mission’
  • Skyleson, Jess, ‘Changing State’
  • Smiley, Thea, ‘Be Careful Who You Invite Home’
  • Smith, Alyson, ‘Back to Black’
  • Tesleem, Fadairo, ‘In Shaa Allah’
  • Waters, Sophie Laura, ‘Autumn Drive With Father’
  • Welch, Ozzy, ‘Sappho’s Nightwalk’
  • Whiting, Faith, ‘He’
  • Wynne-Jones, Dave, ‘Where Four Worlds Meet’
  • Young, Damon, ‘Community Payback’
  • Zhang, Lucy, ‘Switched Out’
  • Suman, ‘Precious’
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