Poetry London Mentoring Scheme

Poetry London is pleased to announce the third year of its mentoring scheme, offering the chance for three talented poets to receive a year of free one-to-one mentoring from leading poets, and friends of Poetry London, Vahni Capildeo, Wayne Holloway-Smith and Mimi Khalvati.

Generously funded by the Garrick Trust and Arts Council England, the scheme will pair each of our mentors with a promising writer who will receive in-depth support, constructive feedback and guidance over the course of five one-to-one mentoring sessions.

Poetry London is committed to developing the diversity of contemporary poetry, and as part of our commitment to this we will be providing the mentoring scheme without cost to the poets mentored, while also offering to cover up to £500 travel expenses in order to enable applicants from across the UK to benefit.

Applications can be made via the Submittable link below. You will be asked to provide:

  • A sample of up to three poems.
  • An application with responses to the following:
  1. Outline your writing experience to date (up to 300 words).
  2. Explain why mentoring would be important to your artistic development (up to 400 words)
  3. Outline your financial position and need for support (up to 150 words).

The deadline for submissions is 31 July.

VAHNI CAPILDEO FRSL is Writer in Residence at the University of York and an outgoing Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Fellow at Queen’s University, Belfast. Their work ranges from poetry to non-fiction to immersive theatre, and has been recognized with awards including the Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection and the Cholmondeley Award. Current projects include 'Active Silence' from York, a collaboration with Trinidadian artist Andre Bagoo to accompany Capildeo’s pamphlet of expanded translations, and ‘Savannah Sequences’, a record of walks, developed while Writer in Residence at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus. Capildeo’s publications include Odyssey Calling (Sad Press, 2020) and Skin Can Hold (Carcanet, 2019),written thanks to a Douglas Caster Fellowship at the University of Leeds.
WAYNE HOLLOWAY-SMITH’s debut collection of poetry, Alarum, was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2017, was shortlisted for the Roehampton Prize and was a Guest Selection for the Poetry Book Society. He won the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize 2016. His non-linear sequence, I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE WENDING, was published by Test Centre in 2018. He won the National Poetry Competition 2018 for his poem ‘The posh mums are boxing in the square’. His second collection, Love Minus Love, will be published by Bloodaxe in 2020.
MIMI KHALVATI has published eight collections with Carcanet Press, including Child: New & Selected Poems, a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation, and The Meanest Flower, shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. She has received a Cholmondeley Award and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of The English Society. Her most recent collection, Afterwardness, is a Poetry Book Society Wild Card and Book of the Year in The Sunday Times and The Guardian.