London New Poetry Award 2010

London New Poetry Award 2010

Press Release: 16th August 2010
West-country-based poet, Carrie Etter, originally from Normal, Illinois, and now teaching at Bath Spa University, became the first recipient of the London New Poetry Award for her poetry collection The Tethers, at a joint Pizza Express/London Festival Fringe Poetry & Jazz Awards event at Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho on Monday (16th August), a celebration that also saw Norma Winstone and Cleveland Watkiss tie for best Jazz Vocalist 2010 and John Turville (piano) win outright the Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year Award.

London Festival Fringe 2010 director Greg Tallent opened the evening by explaining how his Festival Fringe organisation had first discussed with Cegin Productions the idea of funding an award to promote poetry alongside a range of other arts awards, and had looked to Anne-Marie Fyfe of Coffee-House Poetry at the Troubadour for the necessary organisational drive, and, more importantly, to establish how such a new award could be used to further artistic development.

Anne-Marie Fyfe, who has organised poetry readings and classes in London’s famous Troubadour cellar-club since the mid-nineties was emphatic, Greg Tallent said, from the outset, that the award should include the myriad poetry presses in London and throughout the British Isles who are as important as the big publishing names in keeping poetry’s lifeblood flowing in the capital, and that it should certainly do something for new poets, both financially and in terms of heightened profile, complementing the many existing awards which celebrate poets already in mid- or late-career with established presses.

Hence the criteria that the London New Poetry Award £2,500 prize—to be presented at the cross-arts London Festival Fringe Awards Ceremony Waldorf Hilton at London’s Aldwych next week—should go to the best first collection of the year June 2009 to May 2010, criteria that had found a deserving winner in Carrie Etter’s first book.

In a brief introduction Anne-Marie Fyfe commented on how for her, the Award’s high points, had included finding out just how many people in the Troubadour newsletter community, and the wider poetry world, took the trouble to nominate favourite new poets, had involved discovering exactly how many first collections were published in the past year (77!, all listed, for the first time ever, on Coffee-House Poetry and London Festival Fringe websites) and realising how many of the year’s new poets had been published by small and medium-sized regional and specialist poetry presses: (and recognising, sadly, how few new poets are published by the mainstream poetry presses who traditionally dominate the Eliot and Forward prize lists).

Both Salt Publishing and Seren Books each had more than one poet in the final shortlist, Cape Poetry and Bloodaxe Books one each, the remainder of the shortlist including first collections published by presses as diverse as Mulfran, Flambard, Dedalus, Templar, Cinammon, Red Squirrel and Blackstaff, (with none at all, incidentally, appearing on either shortlist or longlist from some of the best-known publishers in Britain and Ireland!)

Anne-Marie Fyfe also paid tribute to the professionalism and commitment shown by the the three distinguished poets and poetry activists who formed the 2010 Award’s Poetry Panel, Tamar Yoseloff, Daljit Nagra and Adam O’Riordan, and to the complexity of their task, a difficulty made more evident by the high praise they offered to each of the fifteen short-listed poets who attended the Pizza-Express sponsored celebration to hear the winner announced: Maureen Jivani, David Briggs, Eleanor Livingstone, Tom Chivers, Grace Wells, Howard Wright, Agnieszka Studzinska, Patrick Brandon, Abi Curtis, Hilary Menos, Ellen Phethean, Carolyn Jess-Cooke, Katrina Naomi and Sam Willetts.

Appropriately for a combined poetry-&-jazz audience, Carrie Etter celebrated her win by reading ‘Siren’, from The Tethers, a poem which reverses the classical concept of sailors fighting to resist the entrapment of women’s voices and envisages instead a mythological scene in which the unwilling victim tied to the mast is a woman struggling to resist the lure of a male singing voice!

What the judges said about Carrie Etter’s award-winning poetry collection:

It’s rare to find a poet having quite so much fun with language and life as Carrie Etter. The poems perform acrobatics with forms as they are driven by the possibilities of words so each piece seems to arrive at its own unexpected and surprised ending. What’s most impressive is Etter’s restless mind that fetches odd allusions or steers off into tangents in a way that always compels us to make the journey. It’s also rare to find a poet who can persistently find joy through suffering with such an assured lightness of touch which defies its lucid surface. A persistently witty and beautifully moving book that is carefully themed and linguistically patterned so that it feels more like the collection of an experienced poet.

Shortlist for London New Poetry Award

…organised by London Festival Fringe 2010 in conjunction with Cegin Productions and Coffee-House Poetry at the Troubadour and judged by Tamar Yoseloff, Daljit Nagra and Adam O’Riordan, winner announced at Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho on 16th August and £2,500 Award to be presented at Waldorf London Awards Ceremony on 26th August. (See below shortlist and submissions list for details, rules, judging panel etc)

Details of 15 first collections (2009-2010) shortlisted

  • Unexpected WeatherAbi Curtis (Salt)
  • Snow CallingAgnieszka Studzinska (Salt)
  • InroadsCarolyn Jess-Cooke (Seren Books)
  • The TethersCarrie Etter (Seren Books)
  • The Method MenDavid Briggs (Salt)
  • BreathEllen Phethean (Flambard Press)
  • When God Has Been Called Away to Greater ThingsGrace Wells (Dedalus Press)
  • BergHilary Menos (Seren Books)
  • King of CountryHoward Wright (Blackstaff Press)
  • The Girl with the Cactus HandshakeKatrina Naomi (Templar Poetry)
  • Insensible HeartMaureen Jivani (Mulfran Press)
  • A Republic of LinenPatrick Brandon (Bloodaxe Books)
  • New Light for the Old DarkSam Willetts (Cape Poetry)
  • How to Build a CityTom Chivers (Salt)
  • Even the SeaEleanor Livingstone (Red Squirrel Press)

Details of 77 first collections (2009-2010) submitted

  • 4UA.E. Brown (Lapwing Publications)
  • How to Pour Madness into a TeacupAbegail Morley (Cinnamon Press)
  • Unexpected WeatherAbi Curtis (Salt)
  • Lost BooksAdrienne J. Odasso (Waterways Publishing)
  • Snow CallingAgnieszka Studzinska (Salt)
  • The Joshua TalesAndra Simons (Treehouse Press)
  • The Big WheelAndrew Nightingale (Oversteps Books)
  • The Assassination MuseumAndy Jackson (Red Squirrel Press)
  • AviatrixAnn Segrave (Oversteps Books)
  • InroadsCarolyn Jess-Cooke (Seren Books)
  • The TethersCarrie Etter (Seren Books)
  • Explaining the CircumstancesChrtistopher North (Oversteps Books)
  • This is the Woman WhoClaudia Jessop (Cinnamon Press)
  • Beneath a Portrait of a HorseCynthia Hardy (Salmon Poetry)
  • The Method MenDavid Briggs (Salt)
  • ParsimonyDavid Troupes (Two Ravens Press)
  • Disposable PeopleDenisa Mirena Piscu (Galway Print)
  • Like ThisDiana Pooley (Salt)
  • The ConsolationsDuncan McGibbon (Mulfran Press)
  • Even the SeaEleanor Livingstone (Red Squirrel Press)
  • BreathEllen Phethean (Flambard Press)
  • Static ExileGeorge Ttouli (Penned in the Margins)
  • Orphaned LatitudesGerard Rudolf (Red Squirrel Press)
  • No RecipeGerry Galvin (Doire Press)
  • When God Has Been Called Away to Greater ThingsGrace Wells (Dedalus Press)
  • Learning GravityHelen Oswald (Tall Lighthouse)
  • Still – FaireHelen Soraghan Dwyer (Lapwing Publications)
  • BergHilary Menos (Seren Books)
  • King of CountryHoward Wright (Blackstaff Press)
  • HareHugh Dunkerley (Cinnamon Press)
  • Death and RemembranceIsabel White (Alarms and Excursions)
  • Fishing for BeginnersJames Bell (Tall Lighthouse)
  • Weather A SystemJames Wilkes (Penned in the Margins)
  • How to be NakedJennie Osborne (Oversteps Books)
  • PetrolheadJenny Hope (Oversteps Books)
  • Seoul Bus PoemsJim Goar (Reality Street)
  • Centuries of SkinJoanna Ezekiel (Ragged Raven Press)
  • Word of MouthJohn Stuart (Oversteps Books)
  • Waving at TrainsJudith Arnopp (Lapwing Publications)
  • Free Sex ChocolateJulian Gough (Salmon Poetry)
  • The Girl with the Cactus HandshakeKatrina Naomi (Templar Poetry)
  • Reflections of a BanksmanKevin Meehan (Turner Maxwell Books)
  • Away from the CityLee Smith (Salt)
  • Her Leafy EyeLesley Saunders (Two Rivers Press)
  • Ashes of a Valleys ChildhoodLynda Nash (Mulfran Press)
  • Laughter Heard from the RoadMaggie O’Dwyer (Templar Poetry)
  • Simple DistractionMarc Swann (Tall Lighthouse)
  • In Other WordsMary Madec (Salmon Poetry)
  • ZephyrMary Mullen (Salmon Poetry)
  • The Art of GardeningMary Robinson (Flambard Press)
  • Insensible HeartMaureen Jivani (Mulfran Press)
  • Feeding Humming BirdsMelanie Panycate (Oversteps Books)
  • Baby I’m Ready To GoMelissa Mann (Grievous Jones Press)
  • b/wNiall McDevitt (Waterloo Press)
  • Blue AbundanceNoel Hanlon (Salmon Poetry)
  • Prophesying the PastNoel King (Salmon Poetry)
  • Where the Music Comes FromPat Galvin (Doghouse)
  • A Republic of LinenPatrick Brandon (Bloodaxe Books)
  • WatermarksPhil Kirby (Arrowhead Press)
  • Foray: Border Reiver WomenPippa Little (Biscuit Publishing)
  • Story the FlowersRick Holland (RJHolland Press)
  • MicrographiaRobert Dickinson (Waterloo Press)
  • Taking FlightRose Cook (Oversteps Books)
  • New Light for the Old DarkSam Willetts (Cape Poetry)
  • Napoleon’s Travelling BooksellerSarah Hesketh (Penned in the Margins)
  • Cardiff Bay LunchSimone Mansell Broome (Lapwing Publications)
  • Sky ParticlesSophia Dimmock (Lapwing Publications)
  • Metro PhobiaStephanie Leal (Penned in the Margins)
  • Desire LinesStephen Boyce (Arrowhead Press)
  • Face at the WindowSusie Groom Smyth (Lapwing Publications)
  • David SwannThe Privilege of Rain (Waterloo Press)
  • How to Build a CityTom Chivers (Salt)
  • An Exaltation of StarlingsTom Conaty (Doghouse)
  • The Owl and the PussycatTom Mathews (Dedalus Press)
  • Tranquility of StoneTony Bailie (Lapwing Publications)
  • The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles StreetTony Williams (Salt)
  • EducationalValerie Jack (Tall Lighthouse)

London New Poetry Award, Poetry Panel: Daljit Nagra, Tamar Yoseloff & Adam O’Riordan

London Festival Fringe 2010 in conjunction with Cegin Productions and Coffee-House Poetry at the Troubadour, is delighted to announce that the Poetry Panel to adjudicate on publishers’ submissions for the London New Poetry Award will be Daljit Nagra, Tamar Yoseloff and Adam O’Riordan, all names well known and highly respected as award-winning poets in their own right and as poetry teachers, writers-in-residence, editors etc

Daljit Nagra comes from a Punjabi background, was born in London, grew up in London and Sheffield and now lives in London where the teaches, and is a Poetry Tutor in Faber Academy. He has won both the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem (2004) and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection with Look We Have Coming to Dover! (Faber, 2007) which also won the South Bank Show Decibel Award.

Daljit is on the Board of the Poetry Book Society and has judged the Samuel Johnson Award 2008, The Guardian First Book Prize 2008, The Foyles Young Poets Competition 2008 and The National Poetry Competition 2009 as well as having hosted the TS Eliot Prize Poetry Readings in 2009.

Tamar Yoseloff teaches creative writing with The Poetry School in London, has been Programme Co-ordinator for the Poetry School, Reviews Editor for Poetry London, Writer-in-Residence at Magdalene College Cambridge and organiser of the Terrible Beauty poetry series at the Troubadour up to the mid-nineties.

Born in the USA in 1965, Tamar moved to london in 1987 and now divides her time between London and Suffolk. She has worked on collaborations with visual artists, edited A Room to Live In: A Kettle’s Yard Anthology (Salt, 2007), won the Aldeburgh Festival Prize, as well as a London Arts New Writers’ Award, and received a Poetry Book Society Commendation for Sweetheart (Slow Dancer Press, 1998). Her latest collection The City with Horns, is due from Salt Publishing in Spring 2011.

Newest name on the Poetry Panel, Adam O’Riordan, was born in Manchester in 1982, read English at Oxford University and studied under Poet Laureate Andrew Motion at the University of London where he won the inaugural Peters, Fraser and Dunlop Poetry Prize. His pamphlet Queen of the Cotton Cities won an Eric Gregory Award while Home was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. He is co-editor of The Shape of the Dance, the selected prose of London-Irish-American New-Gen poet Michael Donaghy (1953-2004).

In 2008 Adam became the youngest Poet-in-Residence at The Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere. He writes regularly on poetry and language for His collection In the Flesh will be published by Chatto and Windus in July 2010.

London New Poetry Award 2010: Announcement

London Festival Fringe 2010, in conjunction with Coffee-House Poetry and Cegin Productions, announces the London New Poetry Award and the search for the best ‘new poet’ to kick-start a new decade of poetry in the capital.

Anne-Marie Fyfe, London New Poetry Award chair, writes:

Poetry prizes are invariably either selected anonymously from thousands of submissions or given for a latest publication — or a lifetime’s achievement — to long-established poets on big-name-publisher’s poetry-lists.

But now London — magnet for aspiring poets, proving-ground for first-timers reading in bars, basements, cafés and community centres, meeting place for writers, critics, poetry movements and myriad small press and pamphlet publishers — is set to recognise the special part new poets throughout Britain and Ireland play in the capital’s literary life, through the London Festival Fringe New Poetry Award.

And Coffee-House Poetry is delighted to be associated with an award that will:

  • promote poetry, the most accessible and democratic of arts, as part of London’s kaleidoscopic literary life;
  • promote, alongside big-name publishers, the many small poetry presses who are the lifeblood of new poetry in the capital and around the country;
  • promote one excellent new poet for whom the London New Poetry Award will be a significant career milestone;
  • and support that award-winning poet’s writing with a £2,500 prize plus a series of high-profile awards events including a reading with shortlisted poets and poets from the judging Poetry Panel in London’s famous Troubadour cellar-club.

London New Poetry Award 2010: Submissions

London New Poetry Award invites every poetry publisher, large or small, in Britain and Ireland to submit every first collection they’ve published in English between 01/06/2009 and 31/05/2010 inclusive: one copy only to Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON W4 1ZP.

Anyone may nominate a collection for longlist inclusion (e-mail by 18/06/2010 to stating nominated poet, title, publisher, publication date and publisher’s e-mail if known, and we’ll chase up submissions; no replies from this address). Submitted titles will be posted on both Coffee-House and Festival Fringe websites.

The Poetry Panel of three judges, Tamar Yoseloff, Daljit Nagra and Adam O’Riordan, will read a selected shortlist plus collections they’ve called-in from the longlist (shortlist t.b.a. 28/06/2010)and meet at a London location to deliberate quality, innovation, craft, relevance and sheer poetry, the winner to be announced at a Poetry and Jazz Awards event at Pizza Express Soho Jazz Club in Dean Street.

The London New Poetry Award will be presented — alongside awards for Best Play, Art, Theatre Writing, Jazz, Short Fiction, New Music, Film, Comedy etc — at a high-profile London Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton in London’s Aldwych and the winner of the London New Poetry Award 2010 will read with shortlisted poets, and with Adam O’Riordan, Tamar Yoseloff and Daljit Nagra at London’s famous Troubadour in Earls Court in the Autumn 2010 Coffee-House Poetry series, the fortnightly Monday-night reading slot that brings together local, regional and international poets in London’s liveliest — and longest-running — authentically Bohemian cellar-club.

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