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The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry

7 March 2011

The judges of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2010, Gillian Clarke, Stephen Raw and Jeanette Winterson, have selected the following five poets for the shortlist. The winner will be announced at an awards reception in London on 24 March 2011.

The Shortlist

Photographs of the Ted Hughes Award 2010 shortlisted poets.

Kaite O’Reilly for The Persians (a National Theatre of Wales site specific performance). A beautifully poetic new version of Aeschylus’ tragic play.

Christopher Reid for Song of Lunch (a broadcast production for BBC 2). Reid worked with director Niall McCormick to adapt his narrative poem ‘Song of Lunch’ into a 50-minute film.

David Swann for The Privilege of Rain (published by Waterloo Press, with wood-cuts by Clare Dunne). A collection of poems and prose written after a year as Writer in Residence at HMP Nottingham.

Katharine Towers for The Floating Man (published by Picador Poetry). Towers’ powerful debut collection, a PBS recommendation.

What the judges say...
“My expectation is that, as the Ted Hughes Award gets older (at present it seems to be at the toddler stage), the full gamut of risk-taking collaborations and new ways of confronting poetry are celebrated by this wonderful prize. This year we have a high quality shortlist and I am looking forward to a lively discussion when the other two judges and I thrash out a worthy winner.” Stephen Raw

“Poetry has always been a break-out form, an escape from the confines of cliche. Here we are finding that poetry is still working in surprising ways with new forms and new platforms, but keeping feeling where it belongs at the centre of life and through language.” Jeanette Winterson

About the Award
In 2010, for the second year, members of the Poetry Society and Poetry Book Society were invited to recommend a living UK poet, working in any form, who has made the most exciting contribution to poetry. The £5,000 prize is donated by Carol Ann Duffy, funded from the annual honorarium the Poet Laureate traditionally receives from HM The Queen. The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry seeks to recognise excellence in poetry, highlighting outstanding contributions made by poets to our cultural life.**

“The inaugural year of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry revealed how much exciting work is going on in poetry. This award crosses artistic boundaries, recognising a broad range of poetry from film poems, translations and sculpture to verse plays and the printed word. As Alice Oswald, our first winner, said ‘it’s an award that dips beyond the mainstream into some of the more unusual poetic channels’.