Winners of Ambit's 2020 poetry competition

We are pleased to announce the winners of our annual poetry competition on the theme of 'Cataclysm' judged by Fred D’Aguiar. The theme was chosen well before Covid-19 and BLM but having such an incendiary title meant that it was a record year for entries.

The first three prize winning poems will be published in Ambit 241 and the authors will be invited to read at the launch on Tuesday, 27 October, 7pm at London Fields Brewery, 365-366 Warburton St, London E8 3RR.


First place - £500 - Dante Micheaux The Self on Some Meridian

Second place -  £250 - S. K. Grout Sugar, or…

Third place - £100 - Roy McFarlane An Aubade in Response to…


Commended poets in alphabetical order are:


Rafael Campo Unexceptional

Guinevere Clark Another Country

E.G. Cunningham Love Poem on the verge of Collapse

Annie Freud The Lions of Chemo

Julie Irigaray Krieg

Monica Kam Harbour

Catherine Selby Paradise

Yvette Siegert Bienaventuranza

Ben Strak The Sixth Day

April Yee Kopatchi


In his judge’s report Fred D’Aguiar says ‘Cataclysm becomes both social and personal; the politics of the two may reside in how well the poet occupies the apparent gap between a private despair and its more public and wider applications.’


Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who took part in the competition.