Announcing the Disabled Poets Prize 2024 Shortlist


Spread the Word and CRIPtic Arts are delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2024 Disabled Poets Prize. 

The Disabled Poets Prize was founded by Jamie Hale, with CRIPtic ArtsSpread the Word, and Verve Poetry Press. The 2024 Prize is supported by ALCS (the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society) and by individual donors. The Prize aims to nurture, encourage, and celebrate the talents and successes of deaf and disabled poets. 

Barriers to entry to the arts for deaf and disabled people are high, with often inaccessible live spaces and expensive entry prizes. The Disabled Poets Prize, which is free to enter and open to deaf and disabled UK writers, saw over 160 entries across three categories – Best Single Poem, Best Unpublished Pamphlet and Best Poem Performed in British Sign Language. 

Prizes include a number of cash prizes, an editor one-to-one with The Literary Consultancy and membership of their Being A Writer community platform, a place on an online Arvon Foundation masterclass, and a professional development session with CRIPtic Arts and Spread the Word. The winner of the best unpublished pamphlet will be published by Verve Poetry Press.

The final results will be announced at a special event broadcast online as part of 2024 Deptford Literature Festival on Saturday 16 March. 

The judges for the 2024 Prize were Pascale Petit, Stephen Lightbown, Kabir Kapoor and Jamie Hale.

2024 Best Single Poem 

Judged by Stephen Lightbown and Jamie Hale


  • Alex Mepham – Dark Matter
  • Dee Dickens – A Horse Walks Into a Bar – After Tyrone Lewis
  • Elizabeth Gibson – Could this be how to love?
  • Gayathiri Kamalakanthan – Eating an Orange
  • Rachel Burns – Blue Monday
  • Vera Yuen – Ward 9


  • Bec MacKenzie – Earthshine
  • Bethany Handley – When I Say I’m Tired
  • Caitlin Tina Jones – This is the Rhymney Line Refusing to Forgive Me for Leaving
  • Joe Rizzo Naudi – BLND
  • Katie O’Pray – Complications
  • Tanvir Bush – Now Death is Too Tired to Dance

2024 Best Unpublished Pamphlet 

Judged by Pascale Petit and Jamie Hale


  • Amber Horne – So She Spoke
  • Anna Starkey – All These Frequencies
  • Danne Jobin – Scar Tissue
  • Norman Miller – Learning in Nine Keys
  • Ozge Gozturk – Exit Armours
  • Susie Wilson – Nowhere Near As Safe As a Snake in Bed


  • Cassandra Finch – Spectral Fires
  • Ellie Spirrett – Beast
  • Lewis Wood – Worse/Better/After
  • Dr Kane Holborn (member of Quills Anonymous) – Flâneur on Wheels
  • Maud Rowell – Funeral / Holiday
  • Ruth Yates – The Friend I Never Had

2024 Best Poem Performed in British Sign Language 

A special commendation, awarded by Kabir Kapoor, will be given to a poet in the Best Poem Performed in BSL category at the announcement event.  

Congratulations to all the poets and thank you to all those who entered. The judges enjoyed reading all your work.

You can find out more about the shortlisted writers in their bios, here.

We hope you will be able to join us on Saturday 16 March for a special event broadcast to announce the winners. The event will feature many of the talented shortlisted poets and is part of the 2024 Deptford Literature Festival programme. Free tickets will be available from 5 February.

Donations enable the Prize to develop and grow, so we can reach more disabled poets and provide more opportunities to nurture their writing, artistry and audiences. If you are able to give, please consider doing so on our Total Giving page.