Judges Jo Bell, Bernard O’Donoghue and Kathryn Williams announce their chosen shortlist for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2016.
The shortlisted poets are:
Jay Bernard for The Red and Yellow Nothing (Ink Sweat & Tears Press)
Will Eaves for The Inevitable Gift Shop (CB Editions)
Salena Godden for LIVEwire (Nymphs & Thugs)
Melissa Lee-Houghton for Sunshine (Penned in the Margins)
Harry Man for Finders Keepers (Sidekick Books)
Hollie McNish for Nobody Told Me (Blackfriars)
Caroline Smith for The Immigration Handbook (Seren)
Poetry as performance – live and as studio recordings; prose-poetry memoir; a poetic field guide to Britain’s vanishing wildlife; poetry addressing the ongoing refugee crisis and race and identity through history; and an unflinching look at abuse, addiction and mental health – the shortlist for The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2016 is one of the bravest, most exciting yet.
The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, presented annually by The Poetry Society since 2009, celebrates the outstanding contributions made by poets to our cultural life, acknowledging the possibilities of poetry both on the page and beyond. The £5,000 prize is donated by Carol Ann Duffy, funded from the annual honorarium the Poet Laureate traditionally receives from HM The Queen.
Judge and award-winning singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams said of judging this year’s award:
“I felt anxiously underqualified at being asked to judge the Ted Hughes Award for New?Work in Poetry. It soon became a mass undertaking of carrying books from tour to studio. But the wealth of joy and excitement in these worlds, as well as the sheer variety and beauty, was like having new lives poured into me. I feel very proud of the scope of the shortlist, which came after joyous discussions with the other judges about what hit us hardest and why. I am so honoured to be part of this process and thankful for all the new work that I have read that sits inside me now.”
The final winner will be revealed at an awards ceremony at the Savile Club, Mayfair, London on Wednesday 29th March 2017. The winners of The Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition will also be announced at the ceremony.
Previous winners of the Ted Hughes Award include David Morley for The Invisible Gift, Kate Tempest for Brand New Ancients and Alice Oswald for Weeds & Wildflowers.
8 March 2017