Winner of the National Poetry Competition

Christopher James was born in Scotland in 1975 and educated at Newcastle and UEA, where he graduated with an MA in Creative Writing. He won the 2008 National Poetry Competition for his poem ‘Farewell to the Earth’ as well the Bridport Prize in 2002 and the Ledbury Poetry Prize in both 2003 and 2006. His previous collection The Invention of Butterfly was listed by The Independent as one of its top ten poetry books. The recipient of an Eric Gregory award from the Society of Authors, Christopher’s poems have appeared in The Rialto, Smiths Knoll, London Magazine, Iota, Magma, The Spectator, and many other magazines. He has read at the Cheltenham, Ledbury Poetry Festival Aldeburgh Festival, hosted poetry workshops and has been commissioned by the Tate. His most recent work is The Penguin Diaries, a collection of 65 sonnets, one for each of the men who sailed with Scott on his last expedition to Antarctica.  (Templar, 2017). He lives in Suffolk with his wife and three young children.

The Penguin Diaries


Ruby cover

The Manly Art of Knitting

Farewell to the Earth

The Invention of Butterfky

Prizes and awards

2002 – Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors

2002 – The Bridport Prize – First prize

2002 – 20th Poetry Life Open Poetry Competition – First prize

2002 – The Arvon International Poetry Competion – Highly commended

2003 – The Ledbury Poetry Competition – First prize

2005  – The Bridport Prize – Shortlisted

2006 – The Ledbury Poetry Competition – First prize

2006 – The Bridport Prize – Runner up

2008 – The Open Poetry Sonnet Competition – shortlisted

2008 – The Bridport Prize – Runner up

2008 – The National Poetry Competition – First prize

2009 – The Bridport Prize – Shortlisted

2010 – The Author’s Foundation grant from the Society of Authors

2010 – The Bridport Prize – Shortlisted

2010 – Included in The Forward Book of Poetry 2010

2011 – The Bridport Prize – Shortlisted

2011 – The Templar Poetry Pamphlet Award – Joint first prize

2012 – Wenlock Poetry Competition – Shortlisted

2012 – The Rialto/RSPB Poetry Competition – Longlisted

2012 – The Larkin and East Riding Poetry Prize – Second place

2013 – Longlisted for the National Poetry Competition

2014 – The Wigtown Poetry Competition – Runner up

2014 – Included in The Forward Book of Poetry 2014

2016 – Oxford Brooks International Poetry Competition – First Prize

2016 – Winchester Poetry Prize – Second place (another poem also commended)

2016 – The Nugent Monck Prize (Playwriting) UEA/The Maddermarket

2016 – Longlisted for the Plough Prize

2017 – Longlisted for the National Poetry Competition

2017 – Commended for the Cloud Appreciation Society competition