Poetry and Psychoanalysis Competition 2018

Closing date: Midnight, Sunday 27 May 2018

The Institute of Psychoanalysis and Nine Arches Press are pleased to announce the open-themed Poetry and Psychoanalysis Competition 2018, in conjunction with the conference Poetry and Psychoanalysis: Writing Shame, taking place on June 29th to 30th 2018.

Poems on any subject or theme are eligible for the Main Competition. First prize is £1000, second prize is £250 and third prize is £100.

The IoPA Prize for Mental Health Workers and Trainees is a single prize of £200 and open to those who work or study in the mental health profession who have not yet published a book of poems.

Three commended poets in each category will also receive a one-year subscription to Under the Radar magazine.

The main competition will be judged by poet Kathryn Maris, and special IoPA Prize for Mental Health Workers and Trainees will be judged by Tania Hershman. Winning poems in both categories will appear in Issue 22 (autumn 2018) of Under the Radar. Winning and commended poets will be invited to perform their poems live at the Poetry and Psychoanalysis event on Saturday 30th June.

The entry fee is £6 per poem, or 3 poems for £10, no maximum. Closing date for competition entries is Sunday 27 May.

About the Judges:

Kathryn Maris is from New York and has lived in London since 1999. Her previous collections are The Book of Jobs and God Loves You. In 2017 she featured alongside Frederick Seidel and Sam Riviere in Penguin Modern Poets 5: Occasional Wild Parties (2017). Her poetry has been published widely, including in Granta, The New Statesman, Poetry, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Best British Poetry and The Forward Book of Poetry 2017. Her third collection, The House with Only an Attic and a Basement (Penguin), a portion of which explores themes relating to Freud, Klein and psychoanalysis, will appear in May 2018.

Tania Hershman’s debut poetry collection, Terms & Conditions, is published by Nine Arches Press. Tania is also the author of a poetry chapbook, Nothing Here Is Wild, Everything Is Open, and three short story collections: Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, (Unthank Books, 2017), My Mother Was An Upright Piano, and The White Road and Other Stories, She is co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers' & Artists' Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014), curator of short story hub ShortStops (www.shortstops.info), and has a PhD in creative writing inspired by particle physics. Tania won 3rd prize in the 2017 Poetry and Psychoanalysis competition.  www.taniahershman.com

You can book tickets for Poetry and Psychoanalysis: Writing Shame, taking place on June 29th to 30th 2018 here.


1. Please first pay for your entry (by credit/debit card or PayPal) below by selecting which category you would like to enter, and the number of poems. Take note of your order number(s) from your email payment confirmation (a hashtag and five numbers) as you'll need this to submit your poems.

2. Please save each poem you would like to submit as a separate Word or PDF file (even if submitting three poems rather than a single poem) and make your file name for each document the title of the poem to help us to identify individual poems.

3. Email your poems to competition@ninearchespress.com and please include the following in your email only:

your full name

your phone number

The title(s) of the poems you have submitted

Your order number(s) from your payment

In the subject line of your email, please put either 'Main Competition' or 'IOPA Prize' to clarify which category you are entering your poem(s) for. If submitting to both categories, please send separate email to submit to each, with poems attached, so we know which poems you are entering into which category (please note that the same poem(s) cannot be entered into both categories).

4. All payments and submissions must be completed by midnight on May 27th 2018. It is entrants' responsibility to ensure payment has been made and processed successfully. All successful payments and submissions will receive an automatically generated confirmation email, so do check your spam folder first if you do not seem to have an email confirmation. Any unpaid entries will be disqualified.

5. If you have any issues with paying or submitting your poems, please contact us at mail@ninearchespress.com not at the competition email address.


The competition is open to anyone aged 17 or over at the time of entering. International entries are welcome.

The closing date of the competition is midnight (UK time), 27 May 2018.

There is no limit on the number of entries a single entrant can make. All entries will be considered anonymously by the judge.

Postal entries will be accepted only by individuals unable to enter via the website.

Entries will not be returned.

No alterations can be made to poems once entered.

All entries are judged anonymously and the poet’s name must not appear on the poem itself.

Friends, colleagues and students of the judges are welcome to enter. The judges, however, will not consider poems they recognize, e.g. from workshops or teaching contexts. 

Judges operate, and will make their selections, independently of Nine Arches and the IOPA.

All poems must have a title and must not exceed 60 lines in length (excluding title). There is no restriction on theme or subject.

Poems must be the original work of the entrant.

14. Entries can be double or single spaced.

Entries must be written in English.

The fee for entry is £6.00 or 3 poems for £10.

Prizewinners will be notified by 15 June 2018 and invited to read their poems at Poetry and Psychoanalysis: Writing Shame on the evening of Saturday 30 June 2017.

Winning poems will be published in the autumn 2018 issue Under the Radar and must not have been published, self-published, published on a website or broadcast beforehand. 

Profits from the competition will be used to fund mental health work.

Please pay for your competition entry here

We accept credit / debit cards and Paypal.

Please save your order number, and make sure you include it in your email with your contcat details and attached poems for entry into teh comeptition.

If you have any issues with payment, please contact us at mail@ninearchespress.com not at the competition email address.