Lesley Saunders

poet and educationalist

photo: Dwain Comissiong


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Poetry awards

I’m delighted beyond measure to be one of the four prizewinners of this year’s Live Canon competition 2015! Live Canon is an ensemble of actors - under the inspired direction of Helen Eastman - who bring poetry to life on the stage; they run courses too.

Third prize in Ambit Poetry Competition 2015

Commendation in St Cross Poetry Competition 2015


Winner of Frogmore Poetry Prize 2014 - the judge, Abegail Morley, wrote: ‘The first prize winning poem, “Torc” by Lesley Saunders has precise, exquisite language; the word choice is perfect and the poet is completely in control. It is a tight, rich, well-observed piece that was always near to the top of my pile. The opening line, “When they came to the place again, it was not itself” instantly grabs the reader’s attention and what unfolds is the story of Boudicca releasing the hare. I enjoyed the apparent ease of this poem, the cumbersome trundle of wooden wheels and the way the reader jumps from the unmentioned hail of arrows to the present day hail of blossom.’

Winner of Poems on a Beermat competition 2014 - a brilliant idea for getting poems out there! The judge, Martin Malone, wrote: ‘By going all the way back to the beginning, the poem “Adam” manages to address the competition’s main theme whilst taking in creation, gender, nature and the meta-text of its own written genesis. I could write so much more in praise of this poem but I shall leave it with the observation that it has genuine Wow Factor.’ See Poems on a beermat results.

Finalist in the Manchester Poetry Prize competition 2014, judged by Adam Horovitz, Adam O’Riordan and Clare Pollard. See the Manchester Writing Competition 2014.

Commendation in the 2013 Mslexia and the Hippocrates poetry and medicine competitions.

Winner of the 2012 Staffordshire poetry competition special prize, for a poem on the subject of ‘Arcadia’; second prize in Buxton Festival Poetry Competition 2012.

Commendations in 2011 for the Hippocrates Poetry and Medicine Competition 2011, the Cardiff International Poetry Competition 2011, the Frogmore Poetry Competition 2011 and the Bridport Poetry Competition 2011; winner of the adult prize in the poetry competition organised by the Roman Baths in Bath: Roman Baths poetry prize winners.

One of six finalists in the Manchester Poetry Prize competition 2010, judged by Simon Armitage, Lavinia Greenlaw and Daljit Nagra: visit the Manchester Poetry Competition 2010 to read the poems.