The Poetry Society is delighted to present its annual showcase of winning poets at the Ledbury Poetry Festival, in an in-person event at Ledbury. The line-up of poets includes National Poetry Competition 2019 winner and 2020 commended poet Susannah Hart, National Poetry Competition 2019 commended poet Cheryl Moskowitz and Foyle Young Poet Isabelle Baafi, hosted by Jonathan Edwards, one of the judges of last year’s National Poetry Competition.
Jonathan Edwards‘s first collection, My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren, 2014), received the Costa Poetry Award and the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award. It was shortlisted for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. His second collection, Gen (Seren, 2018), also a winner of the Wales Book of the Year People’s Choice Award, is shortlisted for the Gladstone’s Library Writer-in-Residence programme. His poem about Newport Bridge was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2019. He has read his poems on BBC radio and television and at festivals around the world, recorded them for the Poetry Archive and led workshops in schools, universities and prisons. He recently edited the journal Poetry Wales. He lives in Crosskeys, South Wales.
Susannah Hart’s poems have been widely published in magazines and online, including Smiths Knoll, Magma, The North, The Rialto and Poetry London. Her debut collection Out of True won the Live Canon First Collection Prize in 2018 and her poem ‘Reading the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy’ won first prize in the 2019 National Poetry Competition. Susannah is on the board of Magma Poetry. She works as a freelance copywriter and is a long-serving governor at her local primary school. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.
US-born Cheryl Moskowitz studied Psychology at Sussex University, and started out as an actor/playwright, and performance poet with the radical 1980s poetry collective Angels of Fire. She has been published in The Poetry Review, The Rialto, Magma, and The Manhattan Review amongst others; won prizes in the Bridport, Troubadour, Kent & Sussex and Hippocrates poetry competitions; and was a 2018 Moth Poetry Prize finalist. Her poem ‘Hotel Grief’ was commended in the 2019 National Poetry Competition. Cheryl has two poetry collections: The Girl is Smiling (Circle Time Press) and one for children. With composer Alastair Gavin she runs the All Saints Sessions, an innovative poetry and electronics performance series in North London.
Isabelle Baafi is a writer and poet from London. Her debut pamphlet, Ripe (ignitionpress, 2020), was the Poetry Book Society’s Pamphlet Choice for Spring 2021. She was the winner of the 2019 Vincent Cooper Literary Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, the 2020 Bridport Prize for Poetry, and the 2019 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition. Her poems have been published in The Poetry Review, Magma, Anthropocene, and elsewhere. She is a Ledbury Poetry Critic, an Obsidian Foundation Fellow, and a Board Member at Magma. She is currently writing her debut poetry collection.