Coming soon… Koestler Voices Vol. 4

Coming soon… Koestler Voices Vol. 4

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This November marks the publication of our fourth volume of Koestler Voices: New Poetry from Prisons, an anthology of some of the best poems entered into the 2022 and 2023 Koestler Awards. For the first time, Koestler Voices: New Poetry from Prisons Vol. 4 is being edited in-house, with two members of the Arts team, Beth and Esther, immersing themselves in the few thousand poetry submissions of the past two years and taking on the difficult task of selecting only what can fit inside a slim paperback.

Here’s how they describe their approach to the project:

‘We began by reading through every single award-winning poem entered into the 2022 and 2023 Koestler Awards – a big task. We then sat down together and asked: “what do we think is really important to include from what we see working at Koestler Arts every day?”.

We wanted to express the full range of emotion contained in the work we receive, from the light-hearted to the heart-rending to the ambivalent. As well as reflecting the diversity in content, we have included the full range of award-winners and as many different kinds of establishment as possible, and the work of several younger poets. The four section headings under which the poems are grouped have names borrowed from a poem within them (keep an eye out for these!).

Giving everything the attention it deserves has demanded real organisation, as there were tight deadlines to navigate during one of the busiest periods of the awards cycle

It has been such a privilege and joy to edit this publication and we’re so pleased that each poet will receive a copy – we hope we have done them proud!’


If you’d like to support this project, please consider donating to our Crowdfunder. We aim to raise £5,000 to help cover the cost of producing this anthology, and to allow us to send copies into prison libraries across the UK. To find out more, click here.