hand holding a pen writing in a book

Winner of the 2023 Overton Poetry Prize announced

Poet Liz Dickinson has been named winner of the 2023 Overton Poetry Prize.

Her collection, Birds of Passage, addressed themes of ‘passing through’, comparable to the passage of migratory birds.

Her work will now be published and will be available to purchase online. Speaking about the award, Liz said: “I was on holiday when the email came through.

“I was in shock, so had to sit down, with a strong brew before I could form words. I can now say, without hesitation that I am delighted to have been selected for this year’s award!” 

Competition judge Dr Kerry Featherstone, a lecturer in creative writing at Loughborough, said: “Her reading at the launch was fascinating as she gave the background to some of her work, and then read with real feeling and humour.

“As ever, this year we are looking for a series of poems that really makes sense together; whether it’s poems in a similar style, or about a particular theme or location, we want to see submissions that feel like a collection, not just a group of poems.

“This year’s guest judge is Daniel Sluman. Daniel is a poet and disability rights activist whose collection Single Window was nominated for the T. S. Eliot prize in 2021.”

Students, staff and members of the public can now submit entries for the 2024 Overton Poetry Prize.

The prize is awarded each year to a sequence of poems of up to 300 lines in length on any subjects. The winning entry will be published in chapbook form and will be available to purchase online.

This international poetry competition was set up in memory of Professor Bill Overton (1946-2012), who worked in the English department at Loughborough.

Much of Bill’s teaching and writing was on poetry, the school hope that this poetry prize will contribute to the creative life of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities and the experience of students.

The competition closes on 31st January 2024.

There is a cost of £12.50 per entry. Proceeds from the competition entry fees will go towards funding an early-career poet in residence at the University.

Visit Overton Poetry Prize for more information including entry requirements and terms and conditions.


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 23/174

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2022 QS World University Rankings – the sixth year running – and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2023, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2023 and 11th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.