Adult Category: The theme for Poetry in McGregor 2021 is The Garden of the Beloved – the fertile heart’s thirst for and flowering in the presence of love, which is the poem’s safe harbour in our oceanic mystery of human being. The Garden of the Beloved is also the theme for the adult category in this year’s poetry competition.

The call to poets is to sing of love’s religion, of the landscapes and idylls of our most naked and simple reality, the human in the presence of love in all and any of its infinite forms, those perfect thoughts in the perfect minds that think them.

Whatever the soil, whatever the gardener’s philosophy, whenever the season, wherever the place, however imagined or reasoned, no matter the flowers of feelings or the towers of thoughts, in the Garden of the Beloved, just so, the leaves will be the leaves, the stems be the stems, the branches and petals and mulch and mud, the rock and the touch and the tones and colours will be, eternally, the love that astonishes us at the end and beginning of our journey back to where we once began, and whence we will again and again set forth. The song of the heart. Love calling unto love.

Bring us your poems, please, from ballads to odes, from songs to elegies, be they faltering, free, formal, overwhelming, or quiet and faint.


Adult Category:

First prize R5 000

Second Prize R2 500

Third prize R1 000

Schools/Youth Category: This category is open to anyone between 7 and 18 years. Entrants in the youth category can enter poems on any subject.

First prize R2 500

Second Prize R1 000

Third prize R500

There is also an award for a poem about caring for our environment R1 000 and an award for writing a poem about caring for one another R500.

English and Afrikaans poems can be entered for both categories. Send your poems via email to: Two entries per person allowed. Poem to be no longer than 36 lines.

The deadline is 20 July 2021. Write the word COMPETITION in the subject line and also add your name, contact details and category that you are entering for in the email. Terms and Conditions apply. Read all about it here:

McGregor Poetry Festival will take place from 27 – 29 August 2021. More information at: