Newdigate Prize

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Sir Roger Newdigate's Prize, more commonly the Newdigate Prize, is awarded to students of the University of Oxford for the Best Composition in English verse by an undergraduate who has been admitted to Oxford within the previous four years. It was founded in 1806 as a memorial to Sir Roger Newdigate (1719-1806).[1] The winning poem is read at Encaenia. Instructions are published as follows: "The length of the poem is not to exceed 300 lines. The metre is not restricted to heroic couplets, but dramatic form of composition is not allowed."

The first winner was John Wilson ("Christopher North"). Notable winners have included Robert Stephen Hawker, John Ruskin, Matthew Arnold, Laurence Binyon, Oscar Wilde, John Buchan, John Addington Symonds, James Fenton and Alan Hollinghurst.

The parallel award given by Cambridge University is the Chancellor's Gold Medal.

Past titles and winners[edit]

Where known, the title of the winning poem is given, followed by the name of the author, each year links to its corresponding "[year] in poetry" article:

Notable 19th century winners[edit]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sir Roger Newdigate's Prize". Oxford Poetry. Retrieved September 15, 2012. Sir Roger Newdigate's Prize for English Verse was founded in 1806 as a memorial to Sir Roger, fifth baronet (1719-1806) and Oxford university politician. 
  2. ^ Boyd Litzinger, Donald Smalley (1995). Richard Browning: The Critical Heritage. Routledge. p. 93. ISBN 0-415-13451-X. 


  • Richter, Editor, Annie J. (1946). Literary Prizes and Their Winners. R. R. Bowker Co.

External links[edit]