Denise Riley wins Roehampton Poetry Prize

Denise Riley‘s Say Something Back, published by Picador, is the winner of this year’s Roehampton prize for best poetry collection, judged by Ahren Warner, Elaine Feinstein and Fiona Sampson.

Warner described Riley’s winning collection as, “A deserving and formidable winner. It is an outstanding, intellectually rigorous, moving and yet generous book in which Riley frames her formal ambition and seriousness of purpose with both wit and a compelling sense of humanity.”

The shortlisted titles for this year’s Prize included Emily Berry’s Stranger, Baby (Faber & Faber), Selima Hill’s The Magnitude of Sublime Existence (Bloodaxe), Wayne Holloway-Smith’s Alarum (Bloodaxe) and Alex Wong’s Poems Without Irony (Carcanet).

Feinstein said of the shortlisted collections, “Emily Berry is clearly an original, using many of the techniques of a resurgent modernism, and finding rhythm and lyricism without any conventional shaping devices. Selima Hill has a beguiling assurance which gives an odd authority to her troubled inner landscape. Wayne Holloway-Smith is clearly an adventurous new voice. And in Poems without Irony, Alex Wong finds an extraordinarily new rhetoric for his love poetry.”

Denise Riley was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2012.

Previous winners of the Roehampton Poetry Prize include John Glenday’s The Golden Mean, Sean O’Brien’s The Beautiful Librarians and Carole Satyamurti’s Mahabharata.

The Roehampton Poetry Centre encourages the writing, reading and study of poetry and aims to bring living poetry into the heart of the University’s English and Creative Writing curriculum. Students are excited and inspired by working alongside the very best poets in Britain and the world.

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29 June 2017