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Photo: Hydar Dewatchi

Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships

The Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships offer a significant new development opportunity for poets. They invest in the process and practice of making poetry, with no expectations of published work or performed events as a result of the award, and support individuals whose practice encompasses poetry in the broadest artistic sense.

The programme runs biennially for three editions between 2017 and 2022 supporting a total of nine artists, three Fellowships per edition. Successful artists will each receive £15,000 to support a year of Fellowship, during which they will be matched with a core mentor and will have further access to a range of advisers and ‘critical friends’ to support their developing practice.

Recipients might be page, spoken word or interdisciplinary poets, work with new media or have interactive, visual or participatory practices. They may be at the very start of their practice, or be established in their career. The structure of the awards will allow for peer relationships to form and multiple approaches to practice to be supported. The initiative recognises how hard it is to make your way in a career as any artist, and particularly in literature and poetry, which has become yet more pronounced over the past decade with the rise of digital, changes in publishing models and growing expectations of free content from arts consumers

Prospective Fellows for 2019/20 have been sought through a wide-reaching nominations process and will be invited to apply directly in early 2017. The list of nominators will be held confidentially until the selection has been announced in Spring 2017. The list includes poets (different career levels and types of practices), publishers, editors, literary development agencies, artists working in other disciplines, funders, festival organisers and other arts organisers and producers.

The Fellowships reward a culturally and creatively diverse series of individuals, which could mean both discovering emerging talent and rewarding experience and excellence. They also offer an opportunity to engage in critical conversations about what poetry can be, and is today. We are looking to identify and encourage those who may not normally consider applying for development opportunities, awards or prizes.

Download the Jerwood Compton Fellowships press release.



In 1964, a bequest was made by Mr Joseph Compton, one of the first directors of the Poetry Book Society, to the Arts Council with the aim of helping poets and of bringing poetry to a wider audience. Using accrued interest from the bequest and funds from Jerwood Charitable Foundation and the Arts Council, the new Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships will offer a significant new development opportunity for poets, funded to the value of £220,000.