Lemn Sissay to judge poetry competition celebrating ‘science around us’

Budding writers have been challenged to craft a Twitter micropoem on the theme of the ‘science around us’ by Creative Manchester, which has launched its annual Micropoetry Competition to mark World Poetry Day.

BAFTA-nominated poet and writer Lemn Sissay - an honorary chair of creative writing at The University of Manchester - will be one of three judges considering entries. They will need to combine a vast and thought-provoking topic with a strict 280-character Twitter limit.

One of three research platforms from The University of Manchester, Creative Manchester has run the Micropoetry Competition in in partnership with the University’s Centre for New Writing for the last 10 years.

The competition is open to everyone, and entrants can submit their micropoem via Twitter using the hashtag #micropoem23. People can also submit their poem by email with the same 280-character limit, including the hashtag.

The competition will close on Wednesday 21 June. Lemn and fellow judges John McAuliffe, Professor of Poetry at The University of Manchester and Director of Creative Manchester, and Manchester-based poet and critic Maryam Hessavi, will then deliberate over the submissions.

The writer of the judges’ favourite poem will win a prize of £500, while two runners-up will receive £250 each. There will also be an under-18 first prize of a £25 book token.

“The variety and quality of poems entered into the competition each year always impress us – the limited space of a tweet seems like a challenge that brings out people’s inventiveness,” said John.

This year’s ‘science around us’ theme is very broad, and we hope it will inspire people of all ages to get creative. The theme can relate to many different things, so we’re looking forward to receiving entries covering a wide range of topics from a fresh perspective. I’m excited to see how entrants approach it - I’m sure there will be many imaginative submissions.

Professor John McAuliffe, Director of Creative Manchester

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