Following our successful 2018 competition to discover the 50 BEST NEW BRITISH AND IRISH POETS to publish in our annual anthology, judged by American major poet Maggie Smith (Good Bones, Tupelo Press), we are thrilled to announce our 2019 Judge will be Forward-nominated British poet Nick Makoha, whose important work has inspired all of us at Eyewear. The competition will open in February and be announced widely.
Makoha's debut collection Kingdom of Gravity was shortlisted for the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection (Forward) and nominated by The Guardian as one of the best books of 2017. He won the 2015 Brunel International Poetry prize and the 2016 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection. He is a Goldsmiths, Cave Canem & Complete Works Alumni. His poems have appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, The Boston Review, and Wasafiri - among many others. Find him at
"Nick Makoha’s first full-length collection, Kingdom of Gravity (Peepal Tree £8.99), was the 2017 debut which most excited me. Focused on Uganda during the Idi Amin dictatorship, his poetry is charged with ethical sensibility. The lines protest as they sing 1the song disturbed by helicopter blades…1 but they don’t simplify things: they explore, and complicate. Personal witness and artistry are one." - Carol Rumens - The Guardian