Skip to main content

Brexit in Poetry Competition is closed

June 12, 2018

by Holland Park Press

This competition closed on 31 December 2018

The Task

Brexit in PoetryWe’re inviting you to send us a poem that deals with any aspects of the Brexit process.

Love it or hate it most people have strong opinions about the whole Brexit issue. Why not channel your thoughts by writing a poem about it? Do you feel European or do you think living on an island makes a difference? Are you or will you be affected? Has it influenced the way you think about your own identity or future?

We are not interested in whether you are for or against leaving the EU, because when reading poetry, it does not matter if you agree or disagree with the poet but what is important is that you submit a great poem. Or as one of our judges puts it: ‘I don’t have to like Philip Larkin’s vision of the world to admire his poems.’

In short: it’s about how you’ve put the poem together: your use of language, rhythm, sound, imagery, etc. We want to be touched, inspired or even frustrated by your poem.

The actual word Brexit does not have to appear, but the poem needs to be inspired by Brexit. We’re looking for a poem that throws a new light on being in or out of the EU, a poem which expresses something that hasn’t been voiced before, but make sure to stay away from clichés.

You can be angry as long as you produce an excellent poem. For example, one that uses a minor issue to make a significant point or a poem which is based on your personal vision but in such a way that it resonates with people reading the poem whatever their background.

Or maybe you want to play devil’s advocate and write from the other point of view, what we would like to see is that even if a reader doesn’t share your opinion he or she is still able to admit: ‘But it is a damned good poem.’

What is the Prize?

The author of the winning poem will receive £200.

The winning poem and runners-up will be published in our online magazine

The Judges

Publisher Bernadette Jansen op de Haar and her brother, poet and author Arnold Jansen op de Haar, will judge this competition and read all the poems.

Both judges moved to the UK from the Netherlands, Bernadette in 1983 and Arnold in 2014. Arnold writes about being an immigrant in his most recent poetry collection The Refrain of Other People’s Lives. This is a quote from his poem on the other side of the water :

only when one makes the city one’s own
does it offer protection

I still quietly cheer on
the dutch football team
at their midnight game

emigration   emigrants
do me a favour
like a child on a bike
look no hands
oh yes? – you still read
dutch papers


Who can take part?

We accept poems from authors of all nationalities and based anywhere in the world provided you comply with these guidelines:

  • Your poem has to be written in English
  • Translations are not accepted
  • Poems should not exceed 50 lines
  • The poem must be the original work of the entrant
  • The poems must not have been previously awarded or published
  • You can only send in one poem per entrant
  • You have to be eighteen or over
  • You can be based in any country but your poem needs to be in English
  • You can be of any nationality but your poem needs to be in English
  • We only accept email submissions

When is the closing date?

You can send in your entries from 14 June and the competition closes on 31 December 2018 at midnight GMT.

How to submit your entry

In order to enter the competition, you have to email us at: We regret that we cannot process entries that do not follow the submission guidelines set out below, so please read these instructions carefully.

  • The poem must be attached as a single Microsoft Word, Text or PDF file
  • Please use your name and the title of the poem when you save your poem
  • Brexit must appear in the subject line of the email
  • The body of the email should contain your contact details
  • Please do not add your name or contact details to the attachment that contains the poem
  • Please do not add your poem to the body of the email

Good luck! We look forward to receiving and reading your poem.