HAD Poetry Competition


Often we find displays of the bones of ancestors in museums that lack much, if any, consideration of the personhood of the individual on display. Honouring the Ancient Dead (HAD) never advocates display of ancestors but recognises that it still happens. Today we are launching a competition to create a poem to be used as a standard tribute for the ancient dead. Every museum known to have ancestors on display will be offered the winning poem to be used as a plaque alongside the display. Additionally, the best local entries will be presented to the relevant museum – to celebrate the community voice.

Competition Details

The title for the poem is ‘Honouring the Ancient Dead‘ (a celebration of the ancestors on display up and down the country – perhaps acknowledging their continuing place within the community). However, the theme may be interpreted as loosely as the entrant wishes.

A full copy of the Rules appears below.

Entries should be sent via email or the Contact form on the HAD website – with information as set out in the rules below – with ‘Poetry Competition’ in the subject line.

The Closing Date for entries is Saturday, 28th February 2015.

Postal entries should be marked ‘Poetry Competition’ and sent to:  Box 275, 8 Shoplatch, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1HF

HAD Poetry Competition – Rules

1.      The competition is open to anyone in the United Kingdom.

2.      Poems must be original, unpublished, not currently submitted elsewhere, and must not have won any other prize.

3.    Poems should be typed and must not exceed 14 lines. Poems must be in English and restricted to the theme which is: ‘Honouring the Ancient Dead’.

4.       Only one poem per person is permitted.

5.    No entry form is required, but all e-mail, online and paper entries must include (in BLOCK LETTERS if handwritten) your name, address, email address (if you have one) and both day and evening telephone number along with the poem submitted.

6.      Receipt of your entry to the competition will not be acknowledged.

7.      The winners will be announced at the HAD AGM (currently scheduled for Saturday, 7th March 2015). The winning poem and names of the winners up will be published on the HAD website at www.honour.org.uk the following day.

8.      Do not send your only copy of your work, as we cannot return poems after the competition, nor can be held responsible for the loss of your poems. No amendments can be made to poems once submitted.

9.      There is no entry fee.

10.   The closing date is midnight Saturday 28th February 2015 and no entries will be accepted after this date.

11.    The winner will be notified by telephone and e-mail on Saturday 7th March. The winner will be publicly announced on Sunday 8th March. There will be one winning entry, which will form the standard tribute that HAD will issue to every museum displaying ancestors’ bodies (commonly referred to as ‘human remains’) within Britain. As such, publicity will be sought for the competition and the use of the winning standard tribute. Entrants may wish to waive their involvement in such publicity by including the words Waive Publicity with their submission. Subject to the agreement of entrants, entries of runners up may be offered to the relevant local museum as the community voice.

12.   Copyright remains with the authors, but Honouring the Ancient Dead reserves the right to publish the winning poems (both in print form and online).

13.   Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these conditions of entry on submission of their poems.

14.  The decision of the judges shall be final and binding upon the participants entering this competition.

Note: The adjudicators of the competition will be the Trustees of Honouring the Ancient Dead.

We have a HAD Poetry Poster for anyone to use to publicise the competition.

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9 Responses

  1. Trevor Morgan says:

    This is not an entry just another Sonnet on the same theme:

    Fate of our bloodlines

    “In vanity we hope for much and yet
    We’re here the briefest time and then are gone.
    A momentary glimpse is all we get.
    The unknown now long dead may now feel wan
    As we now fear that we may be like them,
    Be them in future times, yes, be forgot.
    Like sunlight gives one twinkle on a gem,
    Just like that briefest twinkle is our lot.
    Yet old bloodlines we each now hold within,
    Something of parents and their parents too
    Goes through our children to our future kin.
    And deeds of old bloodlines none may undo,
    For it is Fate decrees events within our lives,
    Decrees those who will perish, who survives”

    © T. Morgan 2015

  2. Erin says:

    Is their an age restriction?

  3. Becca says:

    Is there a word count limit?


  1. 27 November, 2014

    […] More information: http://www.honour.org.uk […]

  2. 11 January, 2015

    […] Honouring the Ancient Dead Poetry Competition: UK based & open to UK residents only. No age limit – open to any age. Themed poetry on remembering ancestors. Winner gets published on Honouring the Ancient Dead website & display in participating museums Nationwide. Deadline 28 February 2015. […]

  3. 18 January, 2015

    […] Closing date Saturday 28th February 2015. Again, I suspect this is only for UK-based poets. An interesting concept, though: the Honouring the Ancient Dead organisation acknowledges the displays all around the country, of ancestors’ bones in museums/etc., where they often are not individually identified. The winning poem will be offered for display to all these museums. They seek a poem that could be used as a ‘standard tribute’. For more information (and a clearer explanation!), visit: http://www.honour.org.uk/had-poetry-competition/ […]

  4. 1 February, 2015

    […] HAD Poetry Competition – Poetry, theme: Honouring the Ancient Dead – closes 28th Feb (submit online and by post) […]

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