Tess Jolly wins the 2015 Hamish Canham Prize

Jolly, Tess

Congratulations to Tess Jolly, the winner of the Hamish Canham Prize 2015, with ‘Goldfields’. The poem, one of 24 Poetry Society Members’ poems published in Poetry News between summer 2014 and spring 2015, was selected by judges Carole Satyamurti (chair) and a Poetry Society team of Sophie Baker, Paul McGrane, Mike Sims and Kate White.

“I was delighted by our choice of ‘Goldfields’,” said Carole Satyamurti. “It’s a poem that delivers fresh nuances and layers of meaning on repeated re-reading. Despite a strong field, it thoroughly deserves the prize.”

A part-time library assistant, Jolly also runs creative writing workshops for young people. Her poems have appeared in magazines including Magma, Agenda, The New Writer and The North. She was highly commended in The Poetry Society’s 2012 Stanza Poetry Competition, in the Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition in both 2011 and 2013, and in this year’s Four Counties Poetry Competition. A pamphlet is due next year from tall-lighthouse.

“Poetry for me is my passion and my purpose, something that fulfils and frustrates me in equal measure,” she adds. “Reading a poem or writing one that successfully distils an experience into words and a form is one of the most important ways in which I assimilate and understand the world.”

The Hamish Canham Prize is awarded annually to the best members’ poem in Poetry News. It was founded in 2004 by Sheena and Hugh Canham, in memory of their son, Hamish Canham (1962-2003).

News published on 26 June 2015.