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A poetry competition in Greece in remembrance of the First World War

"My subject is war, and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity." Wilfred Owen, 1918

WW1 poetry competition

As part of a series of activities to mark the First World War centenary, the British Embassy invites all poetry lovers in Greece, adults and students, to participate in a poetry competition, that pays homage to peace, reconciliation and sacrifice.

We are inviting contributions inspired by the work of the British first World War poets, who amid the terrifying conditions of total war managed to demonstrate the strength of human nature in adversity. Through their work, British poets of this generation succeeded in straddling in the thin line between romanticism and realism. Today, their poems are still considered to be an opportunity to reflect on the devastating consequences of war.

The list of British First World War poets includes names such as Wilfred Owen, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy and Rupert Brooke, who died and is buried on the Greek island of Skyros

In a statement about the poetry competition, the British Ambassador John Kittmer said:

The First World War brought unprecedented losses to combatants of all nations. Amid the tragedy and barbarity of war, a generation of British poets found a new, distinctive voice. That voice, which incites pity and compassion, should be heard today inspiring new poetic talents and new poetic reflection on the values that bind us together. I hope that this part of our remembrance of the First World War will excite the imagination of adults and young people in Greece.

The Competition

The poetry competition is open to anyone living in Greece; there are two categories, one for adults and one for students (up to 18 years):

Adult category

  • an original poem in Greek either inspired by a poem by any of the British WW1 poets or another piece of art of WW1 era (a known painting, sculpture or monument)
  • a translation into Greek of a poem the British WW1 Poets

Student category

  • An original poem in Greek or English on peace, reconciliation or sacrifice.

The deadline for submissions is 31 May 2016 and Awards Ceremony for winners and runners-up will take place on 11 November 2016 Armistice Day.

The two winners in the adult category will win cash prizes of 1000 Euros each and the two runners -up in each section (original poem and translation) will receive 250 Euros each. In the student category, the winner will receive 500 Euros and the runner-up 100 Euros. We would like to thank our sponsors and partners for their generous support.

All work will be reviewed by a 4-member panel of award-winning scholars and writers such as Dr Alicia Stallings, Prof. David Ricks, Mr. Miltos Fragopoulos and Mr Harris Vlavianos, poet and head of the panel.

Terms and Conditions for participation:

Terms and Conditions (PDF, 342KB, 4 pages)

poetry competition (ODT, 54.7KB)

Specified list of British WW1 poets

  • Rupert Brooke
  • Julian Grenfell
  • Ivor Gurney
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • John McCrae
  • Henry Newbolt
  • Robert Nichols
  • Wilfred Owen
  • John Oxenham
  • Jessie Pope
  • Isaac Rosenberg
  • Owen Seaman
  • Charles Sorley
  • Edward Thomas
  • Katharine Tynan
  • A G West
  • Patrick Shaw Stewart

Background material

Published 13 November 2015