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Inaugural Roehampton Poetry Prize shortlist proves ‘brilliance’ of UK-based writers

The Roehampton Poetry Centre is pleased to announce a shortlist of seven authors for the inaugural Roehampton Poetry Prize.

Posted: 29 May 2015

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Professor Fiona Sampson is chair of the judging panel for the Roehampton Prize

The Roehampton Poetry Centre has announced a shortlist of seven authors for the inaugural Roehampton Poetry Prize.

The prize will be given annually for the best poetry collection of the year written by a poet of any nationality who is currently living in the UK. It is judged exclusively by poets. The 2015 Prize is judged by Ian McMillan and John Burnside, and chaired by Professor Fiona Sampson, Director of the Roehampton Poetry Centre, which is based at the University of Roehampton in London.

Announcing the shortlist, the judges said: “We were delighted by the range and brilliance of the entries, which we believe are reflected in our shortlist. This whole exercise demonstrates how the poetry being written here today is of the highest international calibre.”

The shortlist in alphabetical order (author, title, publisher)

  • Fiona Benson – Bright Travellers – Cape
  • Colette Bryce – The Whole and Rain-domed Universe – Picador 
  • Lee Harwood – The Orchid Boat – Enitharmon
  • Selima Hill - Jutland – Bloodaxe
  • Sean O’Brien – The Beautiful Librarians – Picador
  • Michael Longley – The Stairwell – Cape
  • Carol Satyamurti – The Mahabharata – Norton

The prize is valued at £5,000 and the winner will be announced on 3 June at a public prize-giving ceremony due to be held in central London. During the evening, the judges will also give a reading. The event is open to the public, and anyone with an interest in poetry is welcome to attend, but please book in advance.

The Roehampton Poetry Prize is open to any first publication of an individual collection of poetry in English, or first translation of a collection not previously published in the UK.

Collections published between 1 April 2014, and 31 March 2015 were eligible for this year’s prize, and poets of any nationality, living and working in the UK at the time of first publication were considered.

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