Alyson Hallett and Theophilus Kwek on Michael Marks Shortlist

Poetry Society Members Alyson Hallett and Theophilus Kwek (a former Foyle Young Poet) have been shortlisted in this year’s Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets, alongside former Foyle Young Poets Phoebe Stuckes and Charlotte Wetton, and Natacha Bryan.

Alison has been chosen for Toots – “a riotous and very original series of poems, in a brash happy witty very direct voice, around a relationship with a wild Glasgow girl on the island of Iona.”

Theophilus’s pamphlet is The First Five Storms – “These are beautifully crafted poems: a wonderfully exact music, a confident voice and a thrillingly imaginative response to strange aspects of the world from Fibonacci to the re-introduction of red kites to Britain, weaver bird chicks to Scottish lochs, ghost passengers in Japanese taxis after the tsunami to the Chinese idioms for love.”

The Michael Marks Poetry Award recognises an outstanding poetry pamphlet published in the UK between 1st July 2016 and 31st July 2017. The judges will take into account the quality of the pamphlet as well as the poetry. The winning poet will receive a cheque for £5,000. The poet of the winning pamphlet will also become Harvard University’s Michael Marks Poet in Residence at its summer activities in Greece. The residency will take place in July 2018.

On the shortlist for the Publishers’ Award are Mariscat Press, V. Press, The Poetry Business (Smith Doorstop), and Rack Press.

The judges are: Phil Hatfield, Curator of Digital Maps at the British Library, Leaf Arbuthnot, Novelist and regular reviewer for the TLS, and award-winning poet Ruth Padel.

The Wordsworth Trust and The British Library, with the generous support of the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, present The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets, in association with the TLS and Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies (CHS), in Washington DC and in Nafplio Greece.

Previous winners of the Pamphlet award are Elizabeth Burns, Selima Hill, James McGonigal, Roisin Tierney, David Clarke, Laura Scott, Gill McEvoy and Richard Scott.

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14 November 2017