Our 2020 poetry competition

Your annual chance to get those creative juices flowing; this year, with a special theme.

"Its maps, they say, are in our minds already:
How else could we adventure in that country
So sure of paths we never walked upon?

I listen to the children, not yet three,
Dancing out the tongue's deep mystery,
Threading the maze of meaning and connection.

Then what of this, this craft of poetry?
Oh, our best art is pure discovery:
We come on what we know, beyond invention,

As if it had long waited, like a tree
Rooted in trust of time's fortuity,
Beside the road we chanced to travel on."

- 'Language', by David Sutton

There are many ways that psychologists seek to understand and explain the human condition. Some, such as the language of statistics and method, struggle to convey its beauty and depth. And it's a rare Powerpoint presentation that touches the heart. But psychologists are as varied and infinitely complex as the subject they study, and we know that many of them have poetry in their soul.

So we are pleased to launch our sixth annual poetry competition (read the winning entries from 2015201620172018 and 2019

This year, we would like entries related to the British Psychological Society's current policy theme, 'From poverty to flourishing'. However, you can interpret that in any way you see fit.

We also ask that your poem has not been published elsewhere, and will not be until first publication in The Psychologist.

Submissions will be judged by the editor, Dr Jon Sutton, and his Dad, David Sutton, who is a published poet. The winning entry will be published in The Psychologist, which goes to 55,000 readers in print. 

Due to the volume of entries we have received in previous years, we're sorry to say they won't be acknowledged and multiple submissions will not be accepted. We reserve the right to not make an award.

Send your poem to the editor, Dr Jon Sutton, on [email protected] Please include a paragraph of information about yourself, e.g. your work in psychology and whether you have written/published poetry before.

Closing date for entries is 11 December 2020.

If poetry isn't your thing, we're also looking for other contributions to our special Summer 2021 edition on the theme of 'From poverty to flourishing'. See the call at the bottom of this article.

- Read more about poetry in the Psychologist and Research Digest archives via https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/national-poetry-day

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