Powles, Collison, Pati win inaugural Women Poets’ Prize
Three poets have been announced as the winners of the inaugural Women Poets’ Prize: New Zealand-born Nina Mingya Powles and London-based poets Claire Collison and Anita Pati.
Established in honour of editor Rebecca Swift, the prize aims to ‘support creatively ambitious practitioners—poets who are making or are capable of making a significant contribution to the UK poetry landscape’.
Prize judges Moniza Ali, Fiona Sampson and Sarah Howe described Powles’ work as filled with ‘incredible originality’, praised Pati’s work for its ‘linguistic and sonic quirk [and] great display of emotional intelligence’, and applauded Collison’s work as ‘mesmerising’.
‘Being mixed race and half Chinese Malaysian, it has been a particular focus for me to discover other mixed race poets, writers and artists,’ Powles told the Guardian. ‘I am trying to find a new canon of my own.’
Each poet receives a cash bursary of £1000 (A$1800), and will be matched with a poetry mentor and a ‘pastoral coach’, who will help them in areas where their personal lives intersect with their work. The poets will also undertake a program of creative professional development through partnerships with Faber & Faber, The Literary Consultancy, RADA, City Lit, Verve Festival, Bath Spa University, and The Poetry School.
The three poets were chosen from a shortlist of nine, narrowed down from a pool of 573 entries. For more information about the prize, see the website.