The Moth Poetry Prize is one of the biggest prizes in the world for a single unpublished poem.

The Moth Poetry Prize is open to anyone, as long as the poem is previously unpublished, and each year it attracts thousands of entries from new and established poets from over 50 countries worldwide.

The entry fee is €15 per poem. This year,  a further eight poets will receive monetary awards.

The prize is judged by a single poet. The judge only learns who the shortlisted poets are following the selection of the winning poems. Past judges include Claudia Rankine, Marie Howe, Deborah Landau, Daljit Nagra, Leontia Flynn, and Billy Collins. 

Nick Laird will judge The Moth Poetry Prize 2020. Laird is the recipient of many prizes for his poetry and fiction, including the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Award, the Betty Trask Prize, a Somerset Maugham Award, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. He has published three collections of poetry with Faber. He is currently Chair of Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast and an adjunct professor at Columbia University in New York.

Past winners include Natalya Anderson, Paul McMahon, Lee Sharkey, Ann Gray (whose poem was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem), and Abigail Parry (who was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection).  The winner of The Moth Poetry Prize 2019 was the Australian poet Damen O’Brien.

How to enter

The Prize is open to anyone (over 16), as long as the work is original and previously unpublished.

There is no line limit, and the poems can be on any subject. The entry fee is €15 per poem.

You can enter online or send your poem(s) along with a cheque or postal order made payable to ‘The Moth Magazine Ltd.’ with an entry form or a cover letter with your name and contact details and the title of your poem(s) attached to: The Moth, Ardan Grange, Milltown, Belturbet, County Cavan, Ireland H14 K768. 

**If you are concerned about formatting online, please go through the online process and then email your poem as a Word attachment with your entry number directly to** 

Please remember to read the rules of the competition before you enter.


The shortlist will be announced in March 2021 and the four shortlisted poems will appear in the spring 2021 issue of The Moth.

The overall winner of €6,000 will be announced at a special award ceremony at Poetry Ireland in Dublin in the spring of 2021.