We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2023 New Poets Prize. Thank you to all entrants for letting us see your work, and congratulations to the two winners and two runners-up chosen by Kim Moore:
Freya Bantiff for her pamphlet All Appears Ordinary
Caleb Leow for his pamphlet Human Waste
Imogen Wade for her pamphlet Fire Safety
Luke Worthy for his pamphlet On What Could Sting
The two winners will receive editorial and mentoring support from The Poetry Business, and their pamphlets will be published in June 2023 under the New Poets List. The runners-up will each receive a place on an Arvon course, as well as publication in The North. The winners and runners-up will also receive a subscription to The North magazine and will be invited to give a reading organised by The Poetry Business.
The New Poets Prize 2024 will open for entries in October 2023.
for All Appears Ordinary
Nothing is truly ordinary in this extraordinary pamphlet, where owls are ‘light as an eyelash blown for luck’ and where illness and pain can be rinsed and washed away like stains. These poems keep the faith that language can illuminate anything – from everyday acts of love like the removal of nits from a child’s head to the extinction of a species. – Kim Moore
Freya Bantiff (previously Carter) is a Sheffield poet who has recently placed third in the National Poetry Competition 2022 and been highly commended in the Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry 2022. She was joint winner of the 2022 Bridport Poetry Prize (18-25s) (while being highly commended in their overall competition) and winner of the Canterbury Poet of the Year Competition 2021. Freya’s poems and stories have been placed in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award (2021), Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition (2020), Ilkley Literature Festival’s Poetry Competition (2010 – 2015) and Foyle Young Poet of the Year (2015), along with many others. Currently, she is completing an MA in Poetry at UEA and will take on the role of Apprentice Poet in Residence at Ilkley Literature Festival in October 2023.
for Human Waste
A pamphlet which interrogates human waste is a risky strategy – but in these wide-ranging, inventive poems, it absolutely pays off. The objectification of the body – whether that is the migrant body, the female body or the working class body is held up to the light through skilful handling of form and imagery. – Kim Moore
Caleb Leow is an emerging poet from Singapore. He won third place in the inaugural Oxford Poetry Prize (2022) and his poems have been recognised in the Bridport Prize and the National Poetry Competition. He studies History and French at the University of Oxford.
for Fire Safety
There’s a wild and magical energy at work in these evocative, sensual poems. Desire and violence, safety and danger, hunger and satiation co-exist uneasily in the same landscape, where the Green Man can wink from the ceiling of a church, and the world itself can seize you by the shoulders. – Kim Moore
Imogen Wade has been commended for the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, the Plough Poetry Prize and the Winchester Poetry Festival Prize. Her work also has been acknowledged by the Wells Festival of Literature Poetry Competition, the AUB International Poetry Prize, the Ware Poets and Frosted Fire Press. She has been published in The Poetry Review. After studying English at the University of Exeter and Vassar College, she trained as a counsellor at the Cornwall Counselling Institute.
for On What Could Sting
From a jellyfish like a ‘tumour of salt and sand’ to a meditation on Putin’s penis and toxic masculinity – these poems are full of surprising images and wide-ranging in their interrogations – of class, sexuality, homophobia and masculinity. – Kim Moore
Luke Worthy is a queer poet and fiction writer from Sheffield. His work has been published, or is forthcoming, in journals and anthologies including Poetry Wales, fourteen poems, Broken Sleep’s Masculinity: An Anthology of Modern Voices (2024), Youth Word Up (2017/2018), Surfing the Twilight (2019) and Dear Life (2022). In 2023 he was highly commended in the E.H.P Barnard Poetry Prize and was Young Poet-in-Residence at Sheaf Poetry Festival. Luke was commissioned to write a piece of children’s literature for Leeds 2023 and is a member of Hive Poetry Collective.
About the New Poets Prize
The New Poets Prize is a pamphlet competition for writers between the ages of 17 and 24 (inclusive). This prize runs alongside the renowned International Book & Pamphlet Competition organised by The Poetry Business, which has now been established for 37 years.
Previous judges of the New Poets Prize include Helen Mort, Andrew McMillan, Kayo Chingonyi, Mary Jean Chan, Luke Kennard and Kim Moore. Winners of the New Poets Prize have gone on to publish full-length collections with notable publishers, including Carcanet and Bloodaxe Books, have been appointed as workshop facilitators, editors-in-residence, and competition judges (such as the Forward Prizes), have launched and performed their pamphlets on national radio and at prestigious venues, and have been widely reviewed.
Kim Moore’s first collection The Art of Falling (Seren 2015) won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Her second collection All The Men I Never Married (Seren, 2021) won the Forward Prize for Best Collection. Her first non-fiction book What the Trumpet Taught Me was published by Smith/Doorstop in 2022.
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