We're thrilled to announce that the winner of the 2017 Flambard Poetry Prize is Lydia Kennaway.
Her collection of poems, which are all linked by the theme of travelling on foot, drew high praise from judges, poets Ellen Phethean and Rebecca Goss. "I am delighted to have won the Flambard Poetry Prize, an award all the more significant when the judges were two of my poetry heroes, Rebecca Goss and Ellen Phethean,” said Lydia.
Lydia, who wins £1000, is a student on the Writing Poetry MA at Newcastle University and her poems have been published in Pennine Platform, The Rialto and the Hippocrates Prize Anthology.
“Her idea to document different bodies walking through an array of landscapes was fascinating and highly original,” said Rebecca Goss. “Every time I read Kennaway’s entry, I put the poems down wanting more.”
Ellen Phethean said: “Lydia Kennaway took us on a journey of discovery. The theme of walking that linked the poems gave them a coherence, and meaning was strengthened by rhythm and thoughtful line breaks, leaving us wanting to read the rest of the collection.”
The 2nd prize of £250 goes to Natalie Rees. Rebecca Goss said: “Her hugely imaginative poems burst with engaging detail and tender observation,” while Ellen Phethean added: “They moved and intrigued us and left a sense of mystery, of more to be discovered.”
Sinéad Morrissey, Director of NCLA said: “This year’s competition shortlist is proof of the vibrancy of contemporary poetry in the UK, and of the very high standard of poets at the beginning of their careers. All entries are judged anonymously, and we’re especially delighted that one of our own students is this year’s competition overall winner, with another former student also being shortlisted. Newcastle University is clearly the go-to destination for aspiring poets.”
Coongratulations to Lydia and Natalie, and also to our shortlisted poets: Rachel Bower, Joe Caldwell, Imogen Forster, Anne Osbourn and Gwen Sayers.
The Flambard Poetry Prize is awarded annually to the best group of up to five poems submitted by a poet who has not yet published a single-authored pamphlet or collection.
It is run by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA), and was created in recognition of the achievements of Flambard Press, which was one of the finest small independent presses in the country. It published acclaimed poetry and fiction before it closed in 2012. The University holds the Flambard Archive.