We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2015 Charles Causley Poetry Prize judged by Professor Anthony Caleshu of Plymouth University and shortlisted by a panel drawn from the English faculties of Falmouth, Plymouth and Exeter University – Dr. Kym Martindale, Dr. Miriam Darlington, and Professor Ronald Tamplin.
1st Prize was awarded to Claire Dyer for ‘Trust and the Horse’
2nd Prize was awarded to Russell Jones for ‘Waggledancers’
3rd Prize was awarded to Nell Farrell for ‘Finding the Wedding Photos’
The top prize of £2000 and a week-long residency at Cyprus Well, Causley’s former home in Launceston, Cornwall was awarded to Claire Dyer who will join us at Cyprus Well in April 2016 for her residency, during which she will be giving a public reading of her work.
Head judge, Professor Caleshu, had this to say about the winning poem:
“There’s a quiet confidence in this poem, born out of ‘wisdom and rhythm’. We join the speaker on horseback, travelling toward the poem we want to read, and so the poem we want to write. The couplets move us forward with controlled momentum, a strong trot made from a straight-forward language. And yet the poem, with each turn of phrase, surprises us, turns into those spaces which are genuine, and by which we find ‘trust’: trust in the poem to make the right steps, ‘trust’ that it will carry us into a new world order — of ‘hope’, and, at the poem’s unexpected conclusion, of numbers. This poem adds to that great tradition of poetry about poetry, a quest narrative which is both of this earth and its animals and of the ‘blue air’, where the imagination triumphs.”
Claire is from Reading, Berkshire. Her poetry collection, Eleven Rooms is published by Two Rivers Press and a further collection is forthcoming in 2016. Her novels, The Moment and The Perfect Affair and her short story Falling for Gatsby are published by Quercus. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London and teaches creative writing for Bracknell & Wokingham College. She also runs Fresh Eyes, an editorial and critiquing service. Her website is www.clairedyer.com
The second prize of £250 was awarded to Russell Jones for his poem ‘Waggledancers’.
Russell is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor. He has published three short poetry collections and one full collection (The Green Dress Whose Girl is Sleeping, with Freight Books). He is the deputy editor of Shoreline of Infinity, Scotland’s only contemporary sci-fi magazine, and is the editor of Where Rockets Burn Through: Contemporary Science Fiction Poems from the UK. He has a PhD in creative writing from The University of Edinburgh, and blogs at www.poetrusselljones.blogspot.co.uk.
The third prize of £100 goes to Nell Farrell for ‘Finding the Wedding Photos’.
Nell Farrell grew up in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, birthplace of D. H. Lawrence and now lives in Sheffield. She works as Community Participation Officer at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet and as a creative writing tutor. Her first pamphlet, The Wrong Evangeline, was published by Panshine Press in 2003 and she is one of the authors of Some Girls’ Mothers (Route 2009), a collection of six creative non-fiction pieces about mothers and daughters which was accompanied by a national reading tour. Her second pamphlet A Drink With Camus After the Match was published by Smith/Doorstop in 2011. Her poems have appeared in several anthologies including The Sheffield Anthology (Smith/Doorstop 2012), Versions of the North (Five Leaves Press 2013) and CAST: The Poetry Business Book of New Contemporary Poets (Smith/Doorstop 2014). Her third pamphlet Mermaids and Other Devices was published in March 2015 by Moormaid Press, based in Macclesfield and run by poet Ailsa Holland.
As in previous years, five poets were highly commended for the standard of their work and awarded £30 and a place on our new poetry development programme as part of the Spark to Flame project during 2016. These places were awarded to the following poets, who you will be hearing more from in the coming weeks.
- Kirsten Irving for ‘Huixtocihuatl’
- John Foggin for ‘For the True Naming of the World’
- Jill Munro for ‘Freeze-framed’
- David Curtis for ‘What the Owls Says’
- Andy Humphrey for ‘Becoming Hedgehog’
Thank you to the hundreds of you who entered, and congratulations, Claire, Russell, Nell, Kirsten, John, Jill, David and Andy! We will be publishing the winning and highly commended poems on the website along with information about the poetry development programme, so keep in touch and look out for more opportunities from us.