Many congratulations to Poetry Society Member Jenny Mitchell, winner of The Aryamati Poetry Prize, judged by Kayla Jenkins and Amber Rollinson. The joint runners-up are fellow Poetry Society Members Joanna Lilley and Julian Bishop.
1st Place: Jenny Mitchell with poem: Imagining a Forest Made of Freedom
“Our undisputed favourite this year, for its skilful and moving imagery and its important focus in highlighting the bones broken and freedoms lost throughout the transatlantic slave trade, or indeed through modern slavery, so that we do not lose sight of the progress we have yet to make towards human rights for all and reparations for injustice inflicted. “
Joanna Lilley with poem: My mother made sure
“We were hooked from the first line – the stoic bravery and determination of a mother who encourages genocide as a breakfast discussion. We loved the prose poem tone and feel this is such an important poem to be read over and over again.”
Julian Bishop with poem: Starbucks in the gutter
“We loved the flippant and rhythmic tone to this piece – the character study it offered us, without resolution.”
The shortlist includes Poetry Society Members Penny Sharman, Eleni Cay, Julian Bishop (again), Sarah Barr/Steele, Mary Mulholland, and Jane Kingsford.
The Aryamati Poetry Prize “seeks poetry promoting social change and peace. Within this aim, there is certainly room for protest, and we were delighted to see complex explorations of this in the prize’s second year.” The poems will be shortly available to read on their blog and Jenny’s winning poem will be in postcard form, and audio form, as part of Manchester Metropolitan’s RAH! Podcast.
The prize is organised by Fly on the Wall, a social enterprise company and a not for profit publisher, based in Manchester. “We publish high quality anthologies on pressing issues, chapbooks and poetry products, from exceptional poets around the globe, with socially conscious themes. We are proud to publish short stories and poetry on the pressing issues of our time, being unafraid to generate conversation about perhaps ‘prickly’ subjects, whilst also dedicating a large proportion of our yearly publishing schedule to charitable projects. We hope our anthologies in particular work in two ways: to get people communicating and to raise funds for the charities working to tackle the very issues we highlight.”
27 October 2020