Poetry Society Member Michaela Coplen is the winner of the 2019 Troubadour International Poetry Prize. Michaela was presented with her £2,000 first prize by Coffee-House Poetry organiser Anne-Marie Fyfe at Over the Raindow. Michaela was previously a runner-up in the 2019 Mslexia and PBS Women’s Poetry and Pamphlet Competition.
The judges were Kathryn Maris and Pat Boran.
Kathryn: Re-branding, by Michaela Coplen is like a complicated building—let’s say a Gothic cathedral—with buttressing, barrel vaulting and decorative features like stained glass and sculptural friezes. By some miracle of design, the structure doesn’t collapse, and nor do its components. Coplen’s architectural genius is her syntax, alongside a strong and certain voice. Despite its hesitations, qualifications, side stories and interruptions, this narrative about youthful antics with friends in rural United States is so structurally sound, so sure of itself, it could have no destination but a first-place spot. I expect this is not the last we’ll hear from this outstanding poet.
In third place was fellow Society Member (and Cambridge Stanza rep) Lindsay Fursland.
Kathryn: The third-place poem, Oh, Sugar! by Lindsay Fursland is a witty but devastating satire on empire, exploitation and destruction. The poem sings in its tercets, a tribute to Fursland’s fine musical ear.
Among the Commended poets were Society Members Miles Parker, Penny Boxall (last year’s winner of The Poetry Society’s Stanza Competition), Lydia Harris, Kay Syrad, Carolyn King, Angela Cleland, and Kim Moore.
30 January 2020