Christian Ward

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Christian Ward
Occupationpoet, writer and translator
Known forplagiarism controversies

Christian Ward (born 1980) is a British poet, writer, and translator. Ward has had poetry published in reputable journals and received acclaim and prizes for his work. However, those accomplishments have been overshadowed and marred by several accusations of plagiarism.[1][2]

Ward's first collection of poetry, The Moth House, was scheduled to be published in late 2013 by Valley Press.[2] It is not known whether any of the plagiarised works were to be included in this collection.


Education and early career[edit]

Ward holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London. His poetry, some of it copied from other published poets, living and dead, has been published in journals such as the Kenyon Review, Poetry Review,[3] and Iota.[4] He has translated a number of poets, including Amado Nervo and Charles Baudelaire. He won the 2010 East Riding Open Poetry Competition [5] and was short listed for the 2012 Jane Martin Poetry Prize.

Accusations of plagiarism[edit]

In early 2013, Ward became the subject of charges of plagiarism after it was noted that one of his prize-winning poems was extremely similar to one of Helen Mort's.[6] Ward admitted the similarities and apologised, but said that he 'had no intention of deliberately plagiarising' Mort's work though the poem was almost identical, with only two or three words changed in the body of the poem, and one in the title.[7] In February 2013, the Yale Journal for Humanities and Medicine also revealed that Christian Ward had plagiarized works of another author in their publication.[8] In February 2013. Magma Poetry also apologised that they had published a poem by Ward entitled "Newton's First Law of Motion" but subsequently discovered that this poem was written, apart from a few minor changes of wording, by Matthew Olzmann, with the title "Sir Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion" and published in the Winter 2009/10 edition of New England Review (30/4).

In March 2013, the Monongahela Review announced on their website that "we have removed Christian Ward's poems from Issue 4 of the Monongahela Review. It is unfortunate that a choice was made to opt for plagiarism." [9] Ward won "highly commended" in the 2011 Bridport Prize. The phrase "highly commended, poetry 2011" now has a strikethrough line next to his name on the Bridport Prize website and the note: "It has come to our attention that the poem, The Egret, which won a highly commended prize in 2011, is a direct copy of a poem published by the Australian poet, Debbie Lim, in 2009. An explanation for this has been asked of Christian Ward. We have informed Debbie Lim and given our apologies." [10]

The online magazine Redheaded Stepchild announced at the same time: "In the Spring 2009 issue of RSC, we published a poem titled "With Horse" submitted by Christian Ward. We've recently discovered that this poem was written by Kathryn Simmonds with the title "With Zebra" and published in La Petite Zine, lucky #13 issue (summer 2003). We regret publishing a plagiarized poem, which we accepted in good faith." [11]

In July 2013, the online journal Sixth Finch removed a poem which had initially been attributed to Ward, stating: "In our Spring 2009 issue, we published a poem entitled “Karenia Brevis” and attributed that poem to Christian Ward, who submitted the poem as his own work. It recently came to our attention that the poem was plagiarized—apart from minor changes in phrasing, it was a poem entitled “Remembering Karenia Brevis” by Jeffrey Harrison. Harrison's poem, which appeared in Chautauqua Review and The Warwich Review, will be included in his next book, What Comes Next, forthcoming from Tupelo Press. We have removed the poem from our site, and we regret our error." [12]


  • 2013: The Moth House (poetry, publication pending)


  1. ^ Rekdal, Paisley. "Some Final Thoughts, With Gratitude" (blog post) at the Poetry Foundation website (1 May 2013). Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b Beasley, Sandra. "Essay: Nice Poem; I'll Take It" from The New York Times (Sunday Book Review) (26 April 2013). Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2012-06-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-06-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-18. Retrieved 2012-06-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^
  7. ^ Flood, Alison (14 January 2013). "Poetry competition winner exposed as plagiarist". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-30. Retrieved 2013-02-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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