Disabled Poets Prize

The UK’s first Disabled Poets Prize was launched in 2023 and looks to find the best work created by UK-based deaf and disabled poets, in written English and in British Sign Language. Set up by Jerwood Fellow Jamie Hale, the Disabled Poets Prize is a collaboration between Spread the Word, Verve Poetry Press, and CRIPtic Arts in partnership with The Literary Consultancy and Arvon Foundation. Deaf and disabled poets face significant barriers to developing their careers. The Disabled Poets Prize brings the work of the winning writers to new prominence, focusing attention on the exceptional work being produced by deaf and disabled writers. It is the first poetry prize in the UK specifically for deaf and disabled poets.

The Disabled Poets Prize 2024 is now closed for entries.  The shortlist has been announced for the following categories:

  1. Best Single Poem,
  2. Best Unpublished Pamphlet.

For both categories, there will be a first place prize (£500), second prize (£250), third place prize (£100), and three highly commended, awarded £50. The Prize offers significant professional development opportunities for the winning writers, including a publication deal with Verve Poetry Press for the best unpublished pamphlet as well as development prizes from The Literary Consultancy and Arvon Foundation.

Judged by the UK’s BSL Poet Laureate Kabir Kapoor, a commendation award has been given to a poet in the Best Poem performed in British Sign Language category. They will receive £300, an online editor one to one with The Literary Consultancy alongside free membership to their Being a Writer community platform, an online masterclass by Arvon and an online professional development session with CRIPtic Arts and Spread the Word.

The winners were announced online at Deptford Literature Festival on 16 March 2024. 

The Disabled Poets Prize 2024 is supported by ALCS – the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society.

Judges of the 2024 Prize

Jamie Hale

judge for best single poem and best unpublished pamphlet

Kabir Kapoor

judge for best poem performed in BSL

Pascale Petit

judge for best unpublished pamphlet

Stephen Lightbrown

judge for best single poem