Eugene Lee-Hamilton Poetry Competition
The Annual Eugene Lee-Hamilton Poetry Competition
Eugene Lee-Hamilton was a poet and novelist who studied at Oriel (1864-66) who revived the use of Petrarchan Sonnets in his own work, and encouraged it in others. The poetry competition prize was founded by the late Mrs Eliza Ann Lee-Hamilton by bequest in 1943, in memory of Eugene James Lee-Hamilton who died in 1907, in order to encourage the composition of the Petrarchan sonnet in Oxford and Cambridge.
About the Competition
The Provost and Fellows of Oriel College offer an annual prize of £60 for the best Petrarchan Sonnet in English submitted by a current undergraduate of Oxford or Cambridge. The sonnet can be on a topic of the author’s choosing, and enjambment between the eighth and ninth lines is permitted. Sylvia Plath-Hughes is among the past winners of this competition, so entrants are in good company.
Information about how to enter the 2023 competition will be published here in the Spring of 2023.
2022 Winning Poems
The first prize winner of the Eugene Lee-Hamilton Poetry Competition 2022 was Siddiq Islam, Oriel College, Oxford with his sonnet Colourblind.
The second prize winner of the Eugene Lee-Hamilton Poetry Competition 2022 was Cameron Nicholls-Iggulden, Oriel College, Oxford with his sonnet As I Looked Out Across a Raging Sea.
2021 Winning Poem
The winner of the Eugene Lee-Hamilton Poetry Competition 2021 was Tayiba Sulaiman, St Hilda’s College, Oxford with her sonnet, Reading.
2020 Winning Poem
The winner of the Eugene Lee-Hamilton Poetry Competition 2020 was Jane Cooper, New College, Oxford with her sonnet, Upon James Sadler’s Ascent from Christ Church Meadow.
2019 Winning Poems
The First Prize winner of the Eugene Lee-Hamilton Poetry Competition 2019 was Katherine Knight, University College, Oxford with her sonnet, Croquet, Fellows' Garden. The Second Prize winner was Bonnie Samuyiwa, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, with her sonnet, Michal's Complaint. Read them both here.
2018 Winning Poems
In 2018, the quality of entries was so high that the judges decided to award the Eugene Lee-Hamilton Prize to two winners: Dominic Leonard, Christ Church Oxford, with his sonnet The Fisher of Ham Common and Shimali de Silva, Peterhouse Cambridge, with her sonnet Stella to her Violent Lover. Read both sonnets here.