The 2020 New Poets Prize Bundle
All four of the 2020 New Poets Prize winning pamphlet, selected by Luke Kennard:
Ugly Bird by Lauren Hollingsworth-Smith is bolshy and funny and unapologetic. With subjects ranging from public nudity and polyamorous dunnocks to women who run with wolves, these tender poems appreciate human relationships and the natural world, without shying away from difficult conversations around toxic masculinity and mental health. Ugly Bird is tough enough to stand its ground and look you in the eye: ‘I’m not perfect, and in no way do I want to be.’
Have a nice weekend I think you’re interesting by Lucy Holt is a collection of poetry about hometowns and distance. It considers relationships, anxieties and sincerity, and is obsessed with hypothetical mothers in law, knitwear and being liked on the internet.
Aunty Uncle Poems by Gboyega Odubanjo is a documentation of all the aunties, uncles, cousins (by blood or by choice) for whom London has become home. Here we have arrived, or found ourselves – here we try to belong. Gboyega won a 2021 Eric Gregory Award for this pamphlet.
Takeaway by Georgie Woodhead unflinchingly observes a world where everyone is doing their best to survive, often through a lens of the mealtimes that bring us together and set us apart; whether that’s a takeaway eaten in a car park, chickpeas ‘speared like love-struck hearts’, or a multi-generational cooking lesson. Brimming with inventive and tactile imagery, these poems play with time, until it is suspended or flowing backwards through domestic interiors where stereos send secret messages and a poltergeist misses doing the washing up.