The English Poem on a Sacred Subject Prize runs every third year. The next Prize will be open in 2022.
The poem must consist of not less than sixty or more than 300 lines. It may be blank verse or in any form of verse rhymed in couplets or stanzas. There is a tradition which discourages dramatic form of composition for this prize.
Candidates for the prize (value of about £2,000) shall be members of the University who, not later than the closing date for entries for the competition, shall have qualified by examination for a degree of the University; or shall hold the Degree of Master of Arts by incorporation or by decree or by resolution; or shall hold the status of Master of Arts; or shall have qualified by examination for a degree of any other university. The judges may, at their discretion, also make an award to the proxime accessit. Should no such award be made the value of the main award will be increased.
Poems (four copies) are to be sent under a sealed cover marked ‘Sacred Subject Prize’ to the English Faculty Office, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL, no later than Monday of 8th Week, Trinity Term 2022. Each author is required to conceal his or her name and to distinguish his or her composition by a motto, sending at the same time his or her name, college, address and details of degree awarded (title, university and date, which the Faculty will require proof of, before award of the prize) in a separate envelope with the same motto inscribed upon it.
The prize may not be awarded more than twice to the same person.
The subject for the 2019 prize was: 'I am the true vine' (John 15.1).
The winner for the English Poem on a Sacred Subject Prize in 2019 was Flora de Falbe for her entry 'Christo Velato'. The runner-up award was given to Professor Peter Davidson, for his entry 'The True Vine'. The judges would like to thank all those who entered.