Roehampton Poetry Prize 2017 

The Roehampton Poetry Centre at the University of Roehampton is delighted to announce the winner of the third annual Roehampton Poetry Prize.

The prize is awarded to the best poetry collection of the year. The winner of the 2017 prize has been announced as Denise Riley's Say Something Back, published by Picador.

The award was founded to support poets of every nationality and age who live and work in Britain during the year their books were published. Each year, the eligible poetry collections published in the year from 1st April to 1st April are read by a panel of poet judged, chaired by a member of the Roehampton Poetry Centre. This year's judges were Ahren Warner and Elaine Feinstein, and chaired by Professor Fiona Sampson MBE, Director of the Roehampton Poetry Centre.

Professor Sampson commented, "The exciting shortlist we came up with may be seen as uncompromising; it certainly reflects no compromises. We were delighted to find that we had picked three young poets – with two debuts among them – and two women still at the height of their extraordinary powers after decades of poetry."

Judge Ahren Warner described Riley's winning collection as, "A deserving and formidable winner. It is an outstanding, intellectually rigorous, moving and yet generous book in which Riley frames her formal ambition and seriousness of purpose with both wit and a compelling sense of humanity."

The shortlisted titles for this year's Prize included Emily Berry's Stranger, Baby (Faber & Faber), Selima Hill's The Magnitude of Sublime Existence (Bloodaxe), Wayne Holloway-Smith's Alarum (Bloodaxe) and Alex Wong's Poems Without Irony (Carcanet).

Judge Elaine Feinstein said of the shortlisted collections, "Emily Berry is clearly an original, using many of the techniques of a resurgent modernism, and finding rhythm and lyricism without any conventional shaping devices. Selima Hill has a beguiling assurance which gives an odd authority to her troubled inner landscape. Wayne Holloway-Smith is clearly an adventurous new voice. And in Poems without Irony, Alex Wong finds an extraordinarily new rhetoric for his love poetry."

Previous winners of the Roehampton Poetry Prize include John Glenday's The Golden Mean, Sean O'Brien's The Beautiful Librarians and Carole Satyamurti's Mahabharata.

The Roehampton Poetry Centre encourages the writing, reading and study of poetry and aims to bring living poetry into the heart of the University's English and Creative Writing curriculum. Students are excited and inspired by working alongside the very best poets in Britain and the world.


Roehampton Poetry Prize 2016



The Roehampton Poetry Centre is delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Roehampton Poetry Prize.


The prize is 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 2016 Prize is judged by poets Mimi Khalvati and Ruth Padel, and chaired by Professor David Harsent, who also serves as Chair of the Roehampton Poetry Centre.


The Prize is valued at £5000. The winner will be announced at 6:30pm, May 3rd. 2016 at a prize-giving ceremony held at Senate House in London’s Bloomsbury.


The shortlist, presented in alphabetical order:


Ian Duhig: The Blind Road-Maker - Picador John Glenday: The Golden Mean - Picador Kathleen Jamie: The Bonniest Companie - Picador Andrew MacMillan: Physical - Cape Peter Riley: Due North - Shearsman Greta Stoddart: Alive Alive O - Bloodaxe


For more information – please contact Chris Whitfield, Literary Events Manager, on Chris.Whitfield@Roehampton.ac.uk. Direct line 020 8392 5782