We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 competition:
WINNERS The Country With No Playgrounds, Elena Croitoru Urban Minotaur: Mehmet Izbudak The Little God of Damage Limitation, Aileen La Tourette
SHORTLIST The Last Polar Bear Spoke Yiddish, Nora Nadjarian Lessons in Bending, Jonaki Ray What the Sheep Taught Me, Mary Mulholland Vernal, Maeve Henry Turn and Face the Strain, Joolz Sparkes Chemo with Sharapova, Claire Collison Nested, Rod Whitworth
Hannah Lowe on the winning pamphlets:
The Country with No Playgrounds: The thematic mix of family, memory and the history of living in a communist then former communist country is imaginatively handled throughout this collection. Croitoru makes the images of a neglected, dilapidated urban spaces somehow beautiful, and writes with passion about the young girl narrator, wanting to escape home, while simultaneously pulled back to home and childhood through poetry.
Urban Minotaur: These poems are full of humour, satire and pathos. The writing is always precise and controlled, sustaining the persona of the minotaur across the body of the work, and full of the minotaur's longing - for romantic love, or secular fulfillment or spiritual awakening. The poems both sustain the metaphorical minotaur, while offering great variety in tone and approach. I often laughed out loud. A wonderful collection.
The Little God of Damage Limitation: These moving poems express love, grief and anger in the examination of loss. The writing is absolutely precise in its choice of images, and the poems addressed to everyday objects (Dear Window) or actions (Dear Sneeze) carry enormous poignancy. The exploration of a theme from varying angles is always inventive, and often heart-breaking. A beautiful collection.
Hannah Lowe is a poet, memoirist and academic.
Her first poetry collection Chick(Bloodaxe, 2013) won the Michael Murphy Memorial Award for Best First Collection. In September 2014, she was named as one of 20 Next Generation poets. Her family memoir Long Time, No See(Periscope, 2015) featured as Radio 4’s Book of the Week. Her second collection, Chan, is published by Bloodaxe. (2016). She has also published four chapbooks: The Hitcher (Rialto 2012); R x (sine wave peak2013); and Ormonde(Hercules Editions 2014) and The Neighbourhood (Outspoken Press, 2019). She is currently working on a fifth chapbook for Hercules Editions about the old Chinatown at Limehouse. Her third full poetry collection, The Kids, is forthcoming with Bloodaxe. She undertook her AHRC-funded PhD in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and now lectures in Creative Writing at Brunel University.