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Our 2019 poetry competition

Your annual chance to get those creative juices flowing…

03 October 2019

"Its maps, they say, are in our minds already:
How else could we adventure in that country
So sure of paths we never walked upon?

I listen to the children, not yet three,
Dancing out the tongue's deep mystery,
Threading the maze of meaning and connection.

Then what of this, this craft of poetry?
Oh, our best art is pure discovery:
We come on what we know, beyond invention,

As if it had long waited, like a tree
Rooted in trust of time's fortuity,
Beside the road we chanced to travel on."

- 'Language', by David Sutton

There are many ways that psychologists seek to understand and explain the human condition. Some, such as the language of statistics and method, struggle to convey its beauty and depth. And it's a rare Powerpoint presentation that touches the heart. But psychologists are as varied and infinitely complex as the subject they study, and we know that many of them have poetry in their soul.

So we are pleased to launch our fifth annual poetry competition (read the winning entries from 20152016, 2017 and 2018). There is no guidance other than to consider our publication and audience; come on what you know, pure discovery. The richness of the 'human condition' is at your disposal: please don't just limit yourself to mental health! [We really can't emphasise that enough…]

We also ask that your poem has not been published elsewhere, and will not be until first publication in The Psychologist.

Submissions will be judged by the editor, Dr Jon Sutton, and his Dad, David Sutton, who is a published poet. The winning entry will be published in The Psychologist, which goes to 55,000 readers in print. 

Due to the volume of entries we have received in previous years, we're sorry to say they won't be acknowledged and multiple submissions will not be accepted. We reserve the right to not make an award.

Send your poem to the editor, Dr Jon Sutton, on [email protected] Please include a paragraph of information about yourself, e.g. your work in psychology and whether you have written/published poetry before.

Closing date for entries is 11 November 2019.

Read more about poetry in the Psychologist and Research Digest archives via