Ted Hughes Award judges Jackie Kay, Andrew McMillan and Ali Smith have chosen David Morley’s Selected Poems, The Invisible Gift (Carcanet) as the latest winner of The Poetry Society’s prestigious prize.
Known for his energy and linguistic inventiveness, poet David Morley writes about diverse and fascinating subjects, from Romani tales to sharply observed lyrics about nature, from political allegory to vividly imagined histories. His poetry evokes the enchantment and truth of the natural world and our place in it. The Invisible Gift, published by Carcanet, contains poems from previous collections and demonstrates the different impact and form a
Selected Poems can achieve compared to the original individual collections. The book won David Morley the 2015 £5,000 prize, which is funded by Carol Ann Duffy from her honararium as Poet Laureate.
The judges praised the book’s ambition and cohesive new form:
‘The Invisible Gift is the perfect title for this collection, as it was simply a gift to read. Like opening a box of fireworks; something theatrical happens when you open its pages, and a curtain is raised on a tradition that has been overlooked. In these poems, David Morley switches forms and registers to reveal the versatility of the voices and the liveliness of the Romani culture, arguing for a tradition which has been invisible and silent. Ted Hughes wrote about the natural magical and mythical world; The Invisible Gift is a natural successor, as Morley has found a way to give a voice to the Romani people who live in that natural world. A lifetime’s work gathered into one Selected Poems, it becomes a cohesive new form in which old poems transform into something new.’