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  • Writer's pictureBelle Kenyon

The Aryamati Prize 2023 Shortlist Announced!

A big thank you to everyone who entered the Aryamati Poetry Prize this year. We loved reading the various interpretations of the theme of social change and peace, and are always impressed by the diversity of poetry we receive.

Below is our anonymised shortlist of 5 collections and 5 chapbooks - massive congratulations to these poets! We share a sample of a few lines we love from each...

We will be announcing our winner in each category at the end of October.


2 ½

“my parching mother kissed me to the end

with our plasma unifying in smoke

its bubbles exploding our memories

heat drank bloodwine from our lungs”


"She heard the earth sing

and dug, as children do,

with pointed stones and sticks,

extracting slick handfuls"

Life with an Old Brown Dog

"Some nights, when I watch the stars,

on television or in the sky, I can feel them

under the covers, holding each other like lovers—

I sneak a peek but it’s too tender,"


"I and my family circle hated books for their symbolism.

I didn’t read a book till eighteen years old

because when I was a kid we hated books.

They were the symbol of everything that shut us out.

They were the symbol of the bourgeoisie.

They were the symbol of the people who go to school.

They were the symbol of people who study

and it was like everything that we were not."

Villain Monologues

"You want to know, when the unmade bed

in the unpainted room of the rented flat

will just go on snoring away five minutes

after you finish, what it would be like

to lie back on a snowdrift of pension money,

have your modest portfolio climb on top

and deep-throat your bougie leopard-print dick

like its salary depended on it."


An image-river, that star from the dead.

“Here the final act of women will always be

to cover the bodies of their children.

Whether alive or dead.

Comb the dolls beside them in their beds or graves”

Council Housed and Violent

“You told me the only way I could understand your boyhood

would be between the molars aching in my mouth.”

Future Love

“A flatland once connected

Ireland and Britain,

but meltwater made two islands.

I stand on one side calling

across the formless void

reasons for not having you."

Something Like the Shape of Her

“I tell her to rise early, look directly

at the grapefruit sun, declare it no longer bitter,

give shape to rage with pencil on paper,

don’t play the cards dealt.”

There is no escape

“It is not soft, this feeling I have for you it is feral like a rabid dog on the hunt it is starving”

Big thank you to everyone who entered!

Do check out our previous winners - Sundra Lawrence in 2021, and Katrina Dybzynska in 2022! Both available in our shop.

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