Ted Hughes Award 2016 – Judges Announced

Jo Bell, Bernard O'Donoghue, Kathryn Williams
Jo Bell (c. Lee Allen), Bernard O’Donoghue and Kathryn Williams

The Poetry Society is delighted to announce that poets Jo Bell and Bernard O’Donoghue and singer song-writer Kathryn Williams will be judging the 2016 Ted Hughes Awards for New Work in Poetry

Established in 2009, the Ted Hughes Award seeks to recognise exciting new work in poetry. No other poetry prize surveys such a wide variety of work, recognising not just poems on the page, but poetry written for a wide variety of contexts – from sound installations to stage shows. Celebrating innovation, the Award has regularly highlighted the ways in which poets engage with other artforms. Reflecting the spirit of the Award, leading artists from a range of disciplines have been invited to the judging panel. This year, poets Jo Bell and Bernard O’Donoghue are joined by Mercury Award-nominated musician Kathryn Williams, as they look for poets they feel have made an outstanding contribution to poetry in 2016. You can find out more about the judges elsewhere on the website.

The Ted Hughes Award is made possible by the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, who donates the prize money from the annual honorarium awarded to her by HM The Queen. Duffy said about the award:

“The Ted Hughes Award spotlights work by new and emerging artists producing original, innovative and vital works. Each year’s shortlist occupies many different forms of media, from radio plays to public sculptures, but also showcases works like David Morley’s 2015 winner The Invisible Gift, a book which explores some of the underrepresented cultural voices in our society. As well as the prestige associated with being awarded a prize such as this, the Ted Hughes Award expands the reach of the winning work, bringing it to eager new audiences across the United Kingdom. ”

When it comes to the entries, Jo Bell said “I’m looking for the unexpected; work which takes risks, work which is hard to categorise but easy to enjoy. I want a shortlist comprising innovators and perhaps familiar faces extending their own boundaries; collaborations and new formats.”

The competition is open for recommendations

In order to bring to the judges’ attention a full sweep of new work that may otherwise pass under the radar, members of The Poetry Society and Poetry Book Society are invited to make recommendations to the judges. Located across the British Isles, members are often able to highlight work that has maybe premiered at local festivals, on late-night radio or via small presses, as well as more widely-known publications and projects. The prize will be awarded to a UK poet, working in any poetic form, for an exciting new piece of work which was first presented in 2016. The deadline for recommendations is 9 January 2017. The judges select a shortlist in February 2017 and the winner will be announced at a reception at the end of March 2017.

Read the Press Release.


First published October 2016