Panel of Judges

Our Open Category Judge this year is Matt Black. Matt was Derbyshire Poet Laureate (2011-2013) and his most recent collection for adults is Footsteps and Fuddles (Derbyshire County Council, 2013), and for childrenThe Owl and the Pussycat and the Turtles of Fun (Two Rivers Press, 2014). His poems are published in magazines such as Staple, The Rialto, The North and Magma, and he has won awards and commissions. He invented the world’s first Poetry Jukebox. His next book is The Leaking Boot (Iron Press, 2017). Matt won the Buxton Poetry Competition in 2013.

Children’s and Youth Categories

The young people’s and children’s poetry competition will be judged by Maria Carnegie – Head of Library and Learner Support at the University of Derby, acclaimed Derbyshire poet F Philip Holland, and poet and organiser of the Word Wizard Poetry Slam, Rob Stevens.


We are proud to continue to work with our esteemed Patron Lady Jasmine Cavendish.