2nd Singapore Poetry Contest

To celebrate Poetry Writing Month this April, Singapore Poetry is holding its second annual poetry contest. We are looking for poems that include the word “Singapore” (or its variants) in some creative manner. The poems do not have to be about Singapore; in fact, we prefer it if the poems are not about Singapore. They just have to use the word “Singapore” in a way significant to the poems’ own subject and method. For a good example, read Vijay Seshadri’s “Light Verse” from his Pulitzer Prize-winning collection 3 Sections.

And here’s another wrinkle: the contest is open to everyone who is NOT a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident in Singapore.

Awards of USD100, 50 and 20 will go to the top three winners. The winning poems will be published on Singapore Poetry; non-winning poems will be considered for publication as well. The judge is the curator of Singapore Poetry, Jee Leong Koh. Friends and associates are welcomed to submit. Judging will be based solely on poetic merit. Singapore Poetry reserves the right not to make any or all awards, should the quality of entries not merit them.

Contest entry is free. Please submit a maximum of three poems. Only unpublished poems will be considered. Posting on weblog, Facebook and other social media does not constitute publication. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, provided you inform Singapore Poetry if your poem is accepted elsewhere. Please email your submission to jeeleong.koh@gmail.com. The poem(s) must be pasted into the body of the email, together with a short cover letter giving your name, mailing address, and brief biographical note.

The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2016. Results will be announced in July and the winning poems published in the run-up to Singapore’s National Day on August 9.

Read the winning poems from last year’s contest:

First Prize – “At the Dentist in Michigan” by Inez Tan

Second Prize – “Gifts” by Sue Hyon Bae

Third Prize – “Zones” by Ellen Redbird


Milo Jug









Good Milo


About Jee Leong Koh

My book of poems Steep Tea (Carcanet) was named a Best Book of 2015 by UK's Financial Times, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary. I also wrote three other books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. My work has been shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, and translated into Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and Latvian. Originally from Singapore, I live in New York City, where I edit the arts blog Singapore Poetry, and run the Second Saturdays Reading Series and the Singapore Literature Festival in NYC.


  1. Ryan Ma

    Hello, just to confirm, so Singaporean citizens aren’t eligible for this contest?


  2. Sol

    Thought you might want to know: in the main menu of SingaporePoetry.com, the one at the top of every page, the “Contest” link just sends you to the old, 2015 contest page which says the contest is closed.


  3. Nikhitha

    What about the rights of the poem after you publish it? Will they be reverted to the poet?


  4. Nikhitha

    What about the rights of the poem? Will they be reverted back to the poet?


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