Love the Words 2022

Love the Words 2022:
Competition Results & Judges’ Comments

Every year, ‘Love the Words’ (a quote from Dylan Thomas) asks for contributions to its annual poetry competition as part of International Dylan Thomas Day, 14 May. This year, writers around the world were asked to pen a poem on the theme of ‘water’, inspired by Dylan’s name – which means ‘son of the sea’ – as well as by his seaside, childhood home in Swansea, and his estuary home, and famous writing shed, in Laugharne. Writers were free, in this year’s contest, to interpret ‘water’ in any way they wished, and to write in any form. All ages were welcome to take part, and judges Hannah Ellis and Mab Jones were thrilled to see familiar names from previous years amongst the entrants as well as many new names. There were, once again, poems and entries from all around the globe, with over 400 entries received. It was a very hard job to whittle this down, but we did, to roughly 50 poems – a record number for our anthology this year! – and, this time around, we found it too difficult to choose single winners and would like, instead, everyone included here to be able to say that they ‘won’ the competition. We only wish we could publish all 400+ poems! We’re incredibly grateful to all of you who entered; the standard of writing this time was impeccable; and we hope you enjoy this year’s resulting anthology, which demonstrates, we hope, our shared wish to always, and forever, ‘love the words’. It’s what Dylan would have wanted, we feel, and we’re very, very grateful to everyone who shared their words with us.

Click here to download the ebook anthology pdf

Love the Words 2022: Water

‘Love the Words’ is an annual celebration of the magic and power of words, and is part of International Dylan Thomas Day which takes place on May 14 each year.

This time around, Love the Words encourages people of any age, anywhere in the world, to send a poem of up to 40 lines on the theme of ‘water’.

Since ‘Dylan’ means ‘son of the sea’, and the poet was born in the seaside town of Swansea, and later lived on the estuary in Laugharne, we’re looking for poems that celebrate our seas, rivers, lakes, and ponds, although poems about water in every form, from waterfalls to fountains, bathtubs to drinking water, are welcome.

The competition will be judged by the creative director of Dylan Day, Hannah Ellis, who is Dylan’s grand-daughter, and former Dylan Day coordinator and poet, Mab Jones.

The competition opens on Monday March 7 and closes on Saturday May 7 at midnight (GMT).

You may enter as many times as you like. We would ask you to put your poem in the body of an email – not in an attachment – and also to put ‘Love the Words’ as the subject of your email. We’d like to know your full name, the country you are writing from, and your age (we will only publish the ages of winners who are 21 or under). Please send your poem(s) to:

Winners will be published in an ebook anthology which will be shared on the Discover Dylan Thomas website on Dylan Day, 14 May.

Please note that copyright of the poems remains with the authors, although by taking part you grant us permission to share your poems in our social media, in the e-book, and in our publicity relating to Dylan Day and the competition.

As in previous years, we also encourage you to share your creative writing on Twitter, either as an image of your entire poem or as an extract from it. Simply use the hashtags #LovetheWords and #DylanDay, and we will reshare as many as we can in the lead up to the celebration.

We look forward to reading your watery poems soon!