Laura Scott
Laura Scott.

Congratulations to Laura Scott, the winner of the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize 2015 for her poem ‘The Half-loved’, published in The Poetry Review, 105:2, Summer 2015.

In awarding the Prize, judge Selima Hill said: “‘The Half-loved’ is a heartfelt yet subtle poem that repays repeated readings. It does what a poem is meant to do, that only a poem can do: it examines a striking idea in an exhilarating mixture of thoughtfulness and sensuality, from the first irresistible words – ‘sometimes you hear her…’ to the final ‘is weeping it out today’. That last line is a risk, I have to say. I love it being a risk and I hope it works for other readers too.”

Laura Scott said: “I am so pleased to have won. I imagine that’s what everyone says, but I really am! I’m honoured to be in such good company, because I remember reading Zaffar Kunial’s ‘The Word’ when it won last year, and thinking it was one of those pitch-perfect poems that is incapable of putting a foot wrong.”

Laura Scott’s pamphlet What I saw was published by Rialto in 2013 and won the Michael Marks Award in 2014. Her poems have been widely published in magazines including Edinburgh Review, Magma, Rialto, Tate Etc and Envoi. As part of the Michael Marks Award she spent last summer in Greece as the Poet-in-Residence for the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies.

New poems by Scott, ‘The dogs in Greece are different’ and ‘If I were a fish’, appear in the summer 2016 issue of The Poetry Review, alongside a full report on her prize. Scott is among the readers at the launch of the summer issue of the magazine at Keats House, London, on 21 July.

Read more in the Press Release

“I used to write in an almost defensive way, as if the anticipation of what people might say about the poem had the effect of shaping it and maiming it before the poem had a chance to find its own form and its own movement. And I don’t do that anymore.”Laura talked to Mike Sims about her work in an interview following her win.

Selima Hill’s latest collection is The Magnitude of My Sublime Existence (Bloodaxe, 2016).