Poetry Society Member Molly Underwood wins £10,000 Manchester Poetry Prize

Molly Underwood
Molly Underwood

Poetry Society Member Molly Underwood has won this year’s £10,000 Manchester Poetry Prize, awarded for a portfolio of poems.

Molly said:

“I’d like to express my gratitude towards everyone involved with the Manchester Poetry Prize: to Carol Ann Duffy, for establishing the award; to the Manchester Writing School, for the huge amount of work that goes into organising an annual award like this one; and to the judges, for seeing something in my poetry and putting it forward for this prize.

“I’m so honoured that my work has appeared alongside such talented fellow finalists, and truly humbled to have been selected by judges whose poetry I admire so much and who have inspired my own work. Thank you!”

Adam O’Riordan, chair of the poetry prize judging panel and academic director of Manchester Writing School, said:

“In a richly varied short list, Molly Underwood shows an undeniable musical clarity in her work. As few poets can, she reminded the judges of the reasons we began to write ourselves.”

Molly Underwood graduated with a degree in English from Queens’, Cambridge in 2014, and has
spent most of her time travelling and working abroad since then, in Spain, Ireland and Vietnam. Last
year she returned to the U.K. to complete a Master’s degree in Social and Cultural Theory. She is
currently living and writing in London.

Fellow Poetry Society Member Zillah Bowes was also on the shortlist, alongside Katie Hale, Libby Hart, and Maggie Millner.

In the 10th anniversary year of the Manchester Writing Competition, founder and Poet Laureate Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE helped to judge the Poetry Prize, and previous winners and finalists returned at the awards ceremony to speak about the importance of the prizes in boosting literary careers.

The 2018 Manchester Writing Competition winners were revealed at a gala ceremony on Friday, February 1, in the atmospheric Baronial Hall at Chetham’s Library in the heart of Manchester.

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7 February 2019