Friday, 6 August 2010

Genomics Forum Poetry Competition 2010

I'm delighted to pass on details of a poetry competition seeking poetry inspired by genetics and genomics. Here it is:

The Genomics Policy and Research Forum is delighted to announce a brand new writing competition for budding poets in partnership with the Scottish Poetry Library.

‘improving the human’ - Humanity+poetry
The human genome has been unravelled and mapped. Genes responsible for different illnesses and conditions are being identified. Will this information improve the human and help us avoid disease and death? And does this desire to be perfect mask something more sinister – a lack of empathy for the imperfect?  Will this lead to a genetic divide between rich and poor? Do we even want to live for ever? Or, like the Sibyl, do we think that death gives life its meaning?
Thomas Hardy was inspired by germ plasm theory (the forerunner to genetics) to write ‘Heredity’;

… that is I;
The eternal thing in man,
That heeds no call to die.

Are you similarly inspired?

BriefWrite a poem of no more than 50 lines on the theme of ‘improving the human’.
  • The deadline for entries is 7 October 2010 (National Poetry Day)
  • The judges are Gwyneth Lewis (Wales’s National Poet 2005-06), Peggy Hughes at the Scottish Poetry Library, and Professor Steve Yearley, (director of the Genomics Forum)
  • Poems should not have been published or accepted for publication elsewhere
  • Entrants can be of any nationality. Entrants can only submit one poem.

Send your poems to
Please send your poem as an attachment to your email, and ensure that the attachment contains only the poem and poem title (if using a title) but no other identification. In the body of the email, please list your name, contact details and poem title (or first line of poem, if you do not wish to give it a title).

Winners will be contacted in November 2010 and a list of winning entries will be posted on the Genomics Forum website by the end of November.
A selection of the winning and shortlisted poems will be published in a special publication of the Forum in 2010.
The Scottish Poetry Library will host an evening of poetry readings based on the winning entries.
First prize is £500, second prize is £200, and third prize is £100.

Copyright remains with the author, but the Genomics Forum has the right to publish winning poems on its website and in a special publication.

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