FAQs

Fiercely Anticipated Questions

Does my poem have to be about a dead cat?

It must be possible for the judges to discern an association between your poem and feline mortality.

We are open to an endless number of interpretations and approaches, and the link drawn might be subtle

or tangential. Nevertheless, if we can’t tell why a poem has been submitted for the Dead Cat Prize

specifically, this is probably not the contest for it.

Do you hate cats?

No. We love cats.

Can my poem be [dark / funny / darkly funny / shocking / sincere / emotional / other]? In a word: yes. We are just looking for great poetry. It’s entirely possible that gallows humour will sit alongside heartfelt mourning among our commendations. If we think that your poem is reveling in animal cruelty, though, it won’t be considered.

I’ve written a poem about the mortality of a lion/tiger/manticore/flerken, rather than a domestic cat. Does that count? For the inaugural Prize, we are only considering poems that focus on domestic cats. We may revise this criterion in future.

What about a dog/horse/rabbit/tree/bacterium? No.

The cat featured in my poem is historical, and therefore, in reality, dead. Does that count? Yes.

The cat in my poem is alive, but it will die one day. Does that count? Yes - within the constraints of our overall remit to consider poems concerned with feline mortality. We hope the subject of your poem lives nine long, joyous lives.

Does it have to rhyme? Definitely not.

Can it rhyme? Yes.

Why are you doing this? We kept hearing of editors complaining about the vast quantities of poems they receive about dead cats. We thought it was time that this eternal human passion was celebrated.


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