Examples of New Work

“What happens in the heart, simply happens” – Ted Hughes

Examples of New Work in Poetry eligible for the Ted Hughes Award 2017

Crow © Estate of Leonard Baskin
Crow © Estate of Leonard Baskin

 Please note: The following serves as a guide to just some of the kinds of works eligible in the 2017 Ted Hughes Award, and is not a representation of the shortlist or recommendations. If you’d like to recommend any of the following, or any other work published in 2017, please send in a recommendation form.




Tom Jenks for Crabtree (A Libretto): An intense story of love, loss and betrayal in the highest tradition of operatic tragedy – macerating popular culture along the way. 

Jay Bernard for Surge: Side A: A multimedia performance piece using archive film, video and audio, re-visiting 1981’s New Cross Massacre in the light of Brexit, Trump and the rise of far right ideology.

Sophie Herxheimer for Velkom to Inklandt: an exploration of the immigrant experience in the UK through the voice of the poet’s German Jewish Grent Muzzer – and performed live via giant, human-sized pages:  

Inua Ellams for #Afterhours: A memoir and anthology told through a mixture of prose, poetry, and selected works published every day from the poet’s birth up to the age of 18.  


Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry – Previous Winners

2016 Winner

Hollie McNish for Nobody Told Me

2016 judge Jo Bell said “This book is more than the sum of its parts, combining the immediacy of a diary with straight talking poetry from a spoken word tradition. This book is funny and serious, humane and consciousness-raising: it changed the way I think about women (and I am one).”

2015 Winner

David Morley @ProfDavidMorley for The Invisible Gift

From the judges: “In these poems, David Morley switches forms and registers to reveal the versatility of the voices and the liveliness of the Romani culture, arguing for a tradition which has been invisible and silent.”

2014 Winner 

Andrew Motion @motionandrew for Coming Home

A poetic re-imagining and radio performance of shared conversations centered on the effect of conflict, praised by the judges for its “innovative and deeply moving” poetry.

2013 Winner

 Maggie Sawkins @SawkinsMaggie for Zones of Avoidance

(Trailer) “This is an ambitious multimedia presentation using film, voices and sound, which works exceptionally well.”– Denise Riley 

2012 Winner 

Kate Tempest @katetempest for Brand New Ancients.

Spoken Word; ‘Tempest’s everyday epic of small heroics and bad behaviour recasts the ancient gods as two London families’ – Lyn Gardner, The Guardian  

Ted Hughes Award Previous Shortlisted Poets

Patience Agbabi for Telling Tales, Collection, 21st-Century remix of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

Imtiaz Dharker for Over the MoonCollection of

Poems and Drawings, A life of transitions

Carrie Etter for Imagined SonsCollection, A deepening sense of a birthmother’s consciousness

Steve Ely for Oswald’s Book of HoursCollection to rehabilitate an organic English identity

Chris McCabe for PharmapoeticaArt Installation, “medical cabinet of poems”, accompanying book

Alice Oswald for TithonusPoem and Performance meeting the dawn at midsummer

Zoë Skoulding for The Museum of Disappearing SoundsCollection, new perspectives on language 

Hannah Silva for Total ManPerformance, based on ‘evolutionary theory of personality’ writings of Stan Gooch