Congratulations to Dean Browne, winner of the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize 2020 for his poem ‘The Last Consultation’, first published in the winter 2020 issue of The Poetry Review. The prize is presented annually by The Poetry Society for the best poem in the Review by a poet who had not, when their work appeared, published a collection.
Judge Patricia Smith said:
“Dean Browne took the bold step of living with himself a little bit longer, taking a clear-headed and unapologetic look at his faithful vessel and asking, one last time, that it be salvaged for future endeavors. He doesn’t ask that the doctor [in the poem] find perfection – just get the ol’ bod humming again so that the ‘obituary mambo’ need not be considered. I particularly loved reading this entreaty out loud, uncovering its rampant rhythm and sly wordplay. And the sharp and surprising twist of ending, when the speaker sets upon the doctor, who has begun his own inevitable – but perhaps more beautiful – breakdown.”
Dean Browne said, “It’s really an honour, and I’m delighted a poem of mine went down so well!” He adds:
“I try to surprise myself and be open to chance, to trick myself out of the need to foresee the poem’s destination and rush to that expected place. […] It’s the exhilaration of process just as much as the satisfaction of finish that I find exciting when I write.”
Dean’s new poem, ‘The Goatfish’, appears in the summer issue of The Poetry Review. He is among the readers at The Poetry Review summer issue launch on 21 July and an interview with him will be published in the autumn issue of Poetry News.
Dean Browne’s poems have appeared widely in magazines and journals including Banshee, Bath Magg, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry, The Stinging Fly. His pamphlet Kitchens At Night was selected for the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition and will be published by Smith|Doorstop in 2022. He lives in Co. Cork, Ireland.
The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, established in memory of The Poetry Society’s oldest member, has an enviable record of rewarding poets who have gone on to major success. Recent winners include Phoebe Stuckes, who won an Eric Gregory Award for her full-length debut collection, Platinum Blonde (Bloodaxe, 2019); Mary Jean Chan, whose debut collection Flèche (Faber, 2019) won the 2019 Costa Book Award for Poetry; Raymond Antrobus, whose debut The Perseverance (Penned in the Margins, 2018) won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award; and Kayo Chingonyi, winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize 2018, for Kumukanda (Chatto Poetry, 2017). Paul Farley, the inaugural winner in 1998 for ‘Keith Chegwin as Fleance’, judged the prize in 2018 and subsequently the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Whitbread Poetry Prize, and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters.