january, 2020

14janAll DayKeats-Shelley Essay PrizeInternational Entry Fee: £10 Max word count: 3,000 Top Prize: £5,000

Event Details

The theme of 2020’s Keats-Shelley Prize is Songbird.

This marks two landmark bicentenaries in Romantic poetry. The composition 200 years ago of PB Shelley’s To a Skylark and the publication in book form of John Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale.

While these songbirds have achieved immortality through art, today’s reality is that the skylark and nightingale both face serious threat of extinction, lending grim ironies to Romanticised lines like ‘Thou wast not born for death immortal bird’ or ‘And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.’

Our hope for this year’s prize is that we can celebrate the glory of these songbirds, while participating in the wider political and artistic efforts to bring attention to ever-escalating climate crisis.

Essays may be on any aspect of the works or lives of the Romantics and their circles, should be no more than 3,000 words including quotations, and should be written in a clear and accessible style. All sources must be acknowledged.

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