Mary Jean Chan and Carole Bromley win Geoffrey Dearmer and Hamish Canham Prizes

L-R: Mary Jean Chan (photo: Hayley Madden for The Poetry Society; Carole Bromley (photo © Michael J Oakes Photography)

Mary Jean Chan has won The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for her poem ‘The Fencer’ (now titled ‘Flèche’) for the best poem published in The Poetry Review by a poet who doesn’t yet have a full collection, while Carole Bromley has won the Hamish Canham Prize for her poem ‘First Year’, judged to be the best Members’ poem to be included over the year in Poetry News.

The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize was this year judged by poet Paul Farley who praised Mary Jean Chan’s poem as “wonderfully poised and intelligent”, hailing it “a palpable hit”. Paul Farley was the first winner of the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, which was established twenty years ago. The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, established in memory of The Poetry Society’s oldest member, has an enviable record of rewarding poets who have subsequently become leading figures in contemporary poetry and have gone on to publish prize-winning collections. Mary Jean Chan’s debut collection Flèche (named after the poem which has won the Dearmer) is published with Faber next week.

Meanwhile, Carole Bromley’s poem ‘First Year’ was judged by poet Chris Beckett and a quartet of Poetry Society staff to be a worthy winner of the Hamish Canham Prize, describing it as a “poignant tale of blundering lust” and a “tiny five-line punchline”. Carole’s winning poem was inspired by a wordcloud made from winning entries from the forty year history of our National Poetry Competition, Carole selecting the singular prompt word ‘pants’.

Read Mary Jean Chan’s winning poem ‘Flèche’

Read Carole Bromley’s winning poem ‘First Year’ on the Members’ Poems page

27 June 2019