At last! Here is the shortlist for York Literature Festival / YorkMix Poetry Competition 2018.

Launched at the beginning of the year, more than 400 poets from throughout the British Isles entered a total of 850 poems.

Our judge, Andrew McMillan, has now selected his final 30 entries.

The poets are competing for an increased top prize of £600. The runner-up will receive £150, with third and fourth placed poets receiving £75 and £50.

Winners, Highly Commended and Commended poets will be informed of their success later this week.

Floating awards ceremony

Setting sail… City Cruises York
The results will be revealed at a prize-giving event aboard a York City Cruises Ouse cruiser on Sunday, March 25, where winners will be invited to read their entries.

A limited number of tickets for the prize-giving event, which will also feature a reading from Andrew McMillan, are being made available to the public.

Born in South Yorkshire in 1988, Andrew’s debut collection, Physical, is the only poetry collection ever to win The Guardian First Book Award.

He is senior lecturer at the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, and his second collection, Playtime, will be published by Jonathan Cape this year.

You can book here.

2018 shortlist

Here are the title and the first line from the shortlisted poems.

APPLE PIE
When I press the crust of your apple pie

Aunty Alice Sixsmith
She hangs our wet coats like pelts in the hall,

because we can’t all look like Ryan Gosling
for then there would be no bad poetry

Ceiling
The briefs

Chilli paste
After the crash we ordered noodles,

couple (in a box)
a lasso in the corner    steadies our heads.    a blind-folding lid

Daddy Longlegs 
lies on the side of the puddle like a drunk 

Et in Arcadia Ego
We are in the dark

FIRST LOVE
Davey showed us his tiny penis

Haworth, 1855
It was there already, yes, in those bone cold classrooms, in the chants

Hounds
You never barked or growled,

Just Visiting
He said her skin was soft, so soft, and young, he said.

Margaret Thatcher in Therapy
At the middle of the life of that little town was the chip shop.

Narration
To say it happened at four pm on a Tuesday afternoon in March is both irrelevant

PEACHES
Her mourning fingers felt the fleshy clefts

Pomegranates
Two stops away on the train on Sunday afternoon,

Postnatal Ward After Natalie Diaz
I stood sobbing at the window in my pyjamas as

Respite
I saw a heron land in a tree this morning


She Won’t Eat Fiction
She used to appear on those old black

SMALL HANDS
We hug on the only chair left in the classroom,

Swag
We learned to hide things,

The Buzzard
Hovers, comma in

The Farthest Reaches
Take the road

The Keeper’s Wife
She considers her options.

The Nard* Workers (*ancient Greek for lavender)
Every August my mother sewed lavender pouches,

There Was Always Drinking Going On after Michael McCarthy
Dad with his cans of Stones

This good day
On this good day, the heating

Under the Influence of Ursa Minor
On

When Rabbits Die
Rabbits die on their sides

Your skin
holds you intact