UK Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, and the Poetry School, are delighted to announce the longlist for the third year of nature and ecopoetry collection award – The Laurel Prize. Simon generously donates the £5,000 honorarium he receives annually from the Queen to fund the First Prize. Run by the Poetry School, the prize is awarded annually for the best published collection of environmental or nature poetry. This year the Prize opened to submissions in the English language from poets globally and the list reflects this. The longlist, which was judged this year by the poets Glyn Maxwell (Chair) and Elena Karina Byrne and Tishani Doshi, is as follows (in no particular order):

Polly Atkin, Much with Body (Seren Books)
Emily Berry, Unexhausted Time (Faber & Faber)
Jemma Borg, Wilder (Pavilion Books)
Steve Ely, The European Eel (Longbarrow Press)
Forrest Gander, Your Nearness (Arc Publications)
Linda France, The Knucklebone Floor (Smokestack Books)
Helen Hajnoczky, Frost and Pollen (Invisible Publishing)
Rebecca Hawkes, Meat Lovers (Auckland University Press)
Sylvia Legris, Garden Physic (Granta)
Alice Miller, What Fire (Pavilion Poetry)
Cynthia Miller, Honorifics (Nine Arches Press)
Caleb Parkin, This Fruiting Body (Nine Arches Press)
Sumana Roy, V.I.P (Shearsman Books)
Penelope Shuttle, Lyonesse (Bloodaxe Books)
Stephanie Sy-Quia, Amnion (Granta)
Mark Totterdell, Mollusc (The High Window Press)
Katharine Towers, Oak (Picador)
Jack Underwood, A Year in the New Life (Faber & Faber)
Sarah Watkinson, Photovoltaic (Graft Poetry)
Sarah Westcott, Bloom (Pavilion Poetry)

The prize awards £5,000 (1st prize), £2,000 (2nd prize) and £1,000 (3rd prize). There’s also a £500 for Best First Collection. In addition each of the winners will receive a commission from the AONB to create a poem based in their favourite landscape.

The ceremony will take place at the Birmingham Hippodrome on Friday 9 September, 5-6.30pm as part of the Contains Strong Language Festival. The ceremony will be live at Birmingham Hippodrome 5-6.30pm and it will be livestreamed. The Verb will also be dedicated to the Prize that week and there will be considerable radio coverage. During the day judges Glyn Maxwell and Elena Karina Byrne will be running workshops and all three judges will be reading at the ecodome at PoliNations 2.30-3.30pm (introduced by Poet Laureate and Prize founder Simon Armitage).

On Friday 16 September The Yorkshire Sculpture park is hosting a day of poetry readings and workshops, curated and funded by the Laurel and Ginkgo Prizes. Each event will be dotted across the park, and will require individual booking, exact listings and locations of readings and workshops will follow shortly.