Emma Must wins Environmental Defenders Prize at Gingko awards

Emma Must

Congratulations to Poetry Society Members Emma Must, winner of the Environmental Defenders Prize, and Joanna Guthrie, one of the runners-up. Among the Highly Commended were fellow Members Tim Kiely, Joanna Guthrie (for a second poem), and Hannah Lowe.

The Ginkgo Prize is a major international award for ecopoetry, funded by the Edward Goldsmith Foundation and organised by the Poetry School. Every year, the competition awards £8,000 in prize money, provides writers’ residencies for the winners, and supports the development of ecopoetry through a programme of free workshops, and a series of incisive essays by leading ecological writers.

The award, initially called the Resurgence Prize, was first presented in 2015. It has been run by the Poetry School since 2017 and was relaunched as the Ginkgo Prize in 2018.

Luisa Igloria won the inaugural competition, judged by Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald and Jo Shapcott. Rob Miles won the 2016 prize, judged by Jo Shapcott and Imtiaz Dharker, and Seán Hewitt took first prize in the 2017 competition, judged by Lavinia Greenlaw and Mina Gorji. In 2018, Jemma Borg won the first Ginkgo Prize with her poem ‘Unripe’, selected by Mimi Khalvati and Alys Fowler. The 2019 judges are the Mexican poet, environmentalist and ambassador Homero Aradjis and the TS Eliot Prize-winning poet Jen Hadfield.

The 2019 Ginkgo Prize anthology contains all the winning and highly commended poems from the 2019 awards, with forewords from Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and judges Homero Aridjis and Jen Hadfield. The winning poets were Sue Riley, Anne Haven McDonnell and Rosamund Taylor with Emma Must awarded the Environmental Defenders Prize and Joanna Guthrie and Jane Robinson as runners-up

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29 November 2019