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Human Rights Poetry Anthology
Deadline: Wed 15 May 2013
The University of London’s Human Rights Consortium invites contributions for a new anthology of poems about human rights

The University of London’s Human Rights Consortium, in collaboration with the Keats House Poets and the Institute of English Studies, invites contributions for a new anthology of poems about human rights.

This is your opportunity to be published in a special collection by the University of London’s Human Rights Consortium; the anthology which will be launched at the Bloomsbury Festival at Senate House in London in October 2013.

We are looking for poems that focus on any human rights or social justice issue, national or international, current or historical. Poems could explore refugee rights, freedom of speech, indigenous peoples' rights, LGBTI rights, economic rights or environmental justice – the opportunities are endless! 

The Human Rights Consortium is a multidisciplinary collaborative centre for research into human rights and social justice issues. For inspiration, please visit our current project pages (see sidebar). You can follow the Human Rights Consortium on Twitter or like us on Facebook to receive project-related news and updates about human rights.

The Human Rights Poetry Anthology will be selected, compiled and edited by academics with expertise in human rights and English studies from the School of Advanced Study (University of London); and the Keats House Poets, a collective of young poets supported by the Keats House Museum who actively write and perform poems about human rights issues.

In addition, writers' development agency Spread the Word has generously offered a prize –a complementary place at their poetry workshops – for three poets, whose poems best engage with human rights research in poetic form.

Submission Form

Full submission rules:

  • All poems must be emailed to the anthology administrator at by 5.30pm May 15th 2013. Poems submitted after this date/time may not be considered.
  • Please send a maximum of two poems per poet, of 70 lines maximum per poem.
  • Poems must be the poet’s own work, original, unpublished and not entered into any other current competitions.
  • Poems must be emailed in Microsoft Word document or PDF file format (send us a PDF your poem as well as a Word version if it contains very particular form that must be retained, or if the original language contains special characters or symbols).
  • Poets should include with their submission a short biographical note and some information about the news article, human rights law, or anecdote that inspired their piece of writing, totaling no more than 300 words.
  • Only final versions of the poem should be sent; second submissions will not be accepted.
  • There is no entrance fee for this competition. Successful poets whose poems form part of the anthology will receive a contributor’s copy of the anthology (one copy per poet).
  • We encourage poets to submit work in languages other than English, provided that they are accompanied by translations, with each version no longer than 35 lines each.
  • All poems will be anonymised by the administrator, and successful poets will be notified by June 2013.
  • We will be unable to provide feedback, and the editors’ decision is final.
  • This is an open submission; we invite poets of all ages and abilities to enter.
  • Poets retain the full rights to their work. After the anthology has been in print for six months it will be available to download from the School of Advanced Study online repository, SAS Space.
  • Poets whose work is selected for publication will be eligible for the Spread the Word prize; will receive a contributor’s copy of the anthology; and will be invited to the Bloomsbury Festival launch and other performance opportunities organized by the Keats House Poets.

We will be holding a Creative Campaigning Workshop in April 2013 in Senate House. Led by the Keats House Poets and a lecturer in human rights from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Human Rights MA programme, the workshop will teach a number of skills related to framing and communicating your idea – whether you need to summarise an academic argument, tell a potential employer what you're about in a job interview, or create a simple yet effective campaign message. 

For more information and to send your work

Additional Information:

Contact Information:
The University of London’s Human Rights Consortium
Contact Name:
Contact Email:
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