CONGRATULATIONS to Poetry Society Members Isabel Galleymore, Laura Scott and Lucy Wadham, who are joined by Mary Jean Chan and Tom Sastry on the shortlist for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize.
This year there were 43 entrants for the Seamus Heaney award for the best debut collection published in the UK and Ireland, and as always the judges were deeply impressed with the creativity on display. Nick Laird, chair of the judges panel said of this year’s submissions:
“There was immense diversity in tone and subject matter, and it was a struggle to narrow the candidates down to only five books. The shortlist we’ve chosen represents not just accomplishment but also potential.
Each book on the shortlist is ambitious enough to find, amid the deafening static of real life, a space to communicate in. We were put in mind of John Hewitt’s prescription: I do not pitch my voice/ that every phrase be heard / by those who have no choice: / their quality of mind / must be withdrawn and still, / as moth that answers moth / across a roaring hill. Any one of these books would be a worthy winner, and all are worth your time.”
The list in full:
Flèche, by Mary Jean Chan (Faber & Faber, 2019)
Significant Other, by Isabel Galleymore (Carcanet, 2019)
A Man’s House Catches Fire, by Tom Sastry (Nine Arches Press, 2019)
So Many Rooms, by Laura Scott (Carcanet, 2019)
Fold, by Lucy Wadham (Pindrop Press, 2019)
24 June 2020