The HKBU Citywide English Poetry Competition 2022

Let us read your poems and hear them in your own voices.

The HKBU Citywide English Poetry Competition 2022: The Auditory Cortex Edition is currently accepting submissions of poetry and audio recordings from university students in Hong Kong. The judges this year are Dr Tammy Lai-Ming Ho and Professor Lian-Hee Wee from the Department of English and are both editors of Cha, the main sponsor of the competition. Prizes include $3,000 HKD for 1st place; $2,000 HKD for 2nd place; $1,000 HKD for 3rd place; and up to six highly recommended poems ($500 HKD each). Deadline: 30 April 2022.

A U D I T O R Y

C O R T E X

The auditory cortex is the part of the brain that performs the basic and higher functions of hearing, from identifying the warning blare of a car horn or the playful call of Till Eulenspiegel’s  French horn to whether or not a speaker has switched from French to Chinese, or another language. We feel that poetry must speak to the auditory cortex with the most authentic voices of the poet—purest melodies must be given bandwidth. In this year’s edition of the HKBU Citywide English Poetry Competition, we invite university students in Hong Kong to send us their poems accompanied by audio recordings read in their own voice. We call for poetry written and read in the English(es) that:

(a)        showcase your identity in this city, whether you are a native or indigenised Hongkonger, or someone passing through, for whom Hong Kong is a mere page of their life; 

and

(b)       allow the rest of the world to understand you.

We would like to experience your poetry in a way that attests to the vibrancy of the different Englishes that you speak. For example, you may expand the English language and enrich it with your unique prosodies, expressive accents, and local lexicon.


This competition is open to all current full-time undergraduate students enrolled in one of the eight UGC-funded universities. Only one entry per student is allowed. Graduate students, exchange students, and part-time students are not eligible. The eight UGC-funded universities are:

  • City University of Hong Kong (CityU)
  • Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU)
  • Lingnan University (LU)
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)
  • The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK)
  • The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)
  • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
  • The University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Prizes include $3,000 HKD for 1st place; $2,000 HKD for 2nd place; $1,000 HKD for 3rd place; and up to six highly recommended poems ($500 HKD each). The submission period runs from 14 February 2022 to 30 April 2022, and the finalists will be announced in May 2022. There will be an Award Ceremony in May or June 2022 to celebrate the winning poets and their poems. Additionally, all selected poems and accompanying audio files will be published in Cha: An Asian Literature Journal as a special feature within 2022. 

There is no fee to submit a poem, and all submissions will be read anonymously by the judges. Please note there is no theme for this poetry competition. You are welcome to write a poem on any topic, but the poem must not have been published previously, either online or in print. 

The competition is also supported by the Department of English Language & Literature and the International Writers Workshop at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Submissions for consideration must include the following items—please read carefully:

PDF #1

  • Photocopy of your valid student ID;
  • Your contact information, including your full name, email address, phone number, degree programme, and year of study.

PDF #2

  • One poem of no more than 1 A4-size page in 12-point Times New Roman. Please DO NOT include your name in this document.

AUDIO FILE

  • You should include a recording of you reading your poem in a WAV file attachment using your university number as the filename without mentioning the university (e.g. 2022001.wav).
  • The recording should contain only the author’s voice (NO sound effects or music) and should be made in a sound attended room or a venue of adequate quiet to ensure audibility.

Email your submission to citywidepoetryhk@gmail.com during the open submission period (14 February 2022 to 30 April 2022, HKT 11:59PM).

Important Dates
14 February 2022 to 30 April 2022 (HKT 11:59PM)Submission Period
May 2022Finalists announced
May/June 2022Award Ceremony and Reading

Please direct any queries to this email address: citywidepoetryhk@gmail.com  

We look forward to your submission!

Organisers: Dr Tammy Lai-Ming HO (HKBU) and Professor Lian-Hee WEE (HKBU)