2019 judges

Wendy Cope

Wendy Cope was raised in Kent, where her parents often recited poetry to her. She earned a BA in history and trained as a teacher at Oxford University. Cope taught in primary schools for many years before publishing her first book of poetry, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis (1986). The collection was an incredible success, selling tens of thousands of copies in the UK. It also announced Cope’s remarkable talents for parody, word play, dexterity with received forms, and the use of humour to address grave topics. In the Los Angeles Review of Books, critic and poet A.M. Juster declared, “one has to go back to Byron to find a poet as consistently witty, wide-ranging, and technically outstanding as Cope.”

Lachlan Mackinnon

Scottish poet Lachlan Mackinnon won the Eric Gregory Award for his first collection of poems, Monterey Cypress, published in 1988. His latest collection, Small Hours, was shortlisted for the 2010 Forward Poetry Prize. He took early retirement from his job as an English teacher at Winchester College in 2011 and now lives in Ely with his wife, Wendy Cope.

Previous judges


Jackie Kay & Zaffar Kunial


Chris Riddell & Rachel Rooney


Carol Ann Duffy & Imtiaz Dharker 


Lauren Child & AF Harrold


Gillian Clark & Nell Gifford


Susan Hill & Sophie Hannah


Grace Nichols & Andrew Martin


Brian Patten & Angela Huth


Laura Dockrill & Ian McMillan


Clare Allan & Luke Wright


Valerie Grove & Hugo Williams


Candida Lycett Green & Sir Andrew Motion

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