Friday, 17 October 2008

Winners of the Manchester Poetry Prize

The Manchester Poetry Prize 2008

By the closing date of 1st August, the competition had attracted more than 1,000 entries (almost 4,700 poems) from over 30 countries.
Judges Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker and Carol Ann Duffy have short-listed six finalists, and the winners will be announced at a gala prize-giving ceremony at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester on Thursday 16th October 2008.

This event officially opens the 2008 Manchester Literature Festival, and will feature readings from all three judges and each of the six finalists before the prizes - £10,000 and a bursary for study at MMU - are awarded.

The finalists:

Mike Barlow
Mike Barlow was a winner in the National Poetry Competition 2006, The Ledbury Competition 2005 and the Amnesty International Competition 2002. His first collection 'Living on the Difference' (Smiths Doorstop) won the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition 2003, and was short-listed for the Jerwood Aldeburgh Prize for best first collection. His second collection, 'Another Place' is published by Salt. His pamphlet 'Amicable Numbers' is a winner in the 2008 Templar Pamphlet Competition and is published in October.

Mandy Coe
Before becoming a writer, Mandy Coe worked in factories as a welder and electronics engineer. Her first collection 'Pinning the Tail on the Donkey' (Spike 2000) was short-listed for the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Prize and a poem from her second collection, 'The Weight of Cows' (Shoestring Press 2005) was included in the Forward anthology. Mandy won the Ilkley Festival Poetry Prize in 2006 and Liverpool’s Ted Walters Memorial Prize in 2008. Her poetry has appeared in the Guardian, the Radio Times and on BBC radio and television. She received a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2005.

Allison McVety
Allison's poems have appeared in the Times and the Forward Book of Poetry 2008 and 2009 and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In 2007 she completed an MA at Royal Holloway, University of London where she was awarded the PFD Poetry Prize. She won the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition in 2006 and her first collection, 'the night Trotsky came to stay', was published by Smith/Doorstop and has been shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection Prize 2008.

Helen Mort
Helen Mort was born in Sheffield in 1985. She grew up in the Peak District, but now lives in Cambridge. Helen is a five times winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year competition, and her work has appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies including Tower Poetry, The Rialto and Poetry London. Her pamphlet, the shape of every box, was published by tall-lighthouse in 2007; the same year she received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. Helen is one of five winners of the 2008 'Escalator' scheme for performers in the East of England. She has read her work at 'StAnza', the Ledbury festival and in Buckingham Palace.

Lesley Saunders
Lesley Saunders has been writing poetry for many years. With poet Jane Draycott and the artist Peter Hay, she co-authored 'Christina the Astonishing' (Two Rivers Press, 1998). Her poem 'The Uses of Greek' (first published in The Rialto) was shortlisted
for the Forward Prize Best Single Poem in 1999; lately, her poems have appeared in The Rialto, Mslexia and the Divers anthology (Aark Arts 2008). With the artist and gardener Geoff Carr, she has a collection coming out in 2009 which is inspired by the 18th century landscaped gardens at Rousham, Oxfordshire (also to be published by Two Rivers Press).

Rosie Shepperd
After 15 years in the financial markets, Rosie Shepperd studied Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, and is currently working on an MPhil in Poetry at the University of Glamorgan. She has had poems published in magazines such as Magma and The Rialto and won the 2007 Writer's Inc. Bursary.

And the Winner is:

were, actually Lesley Saunders and Mandy Coe shared the £10,000 Manchester Poetry Prize. See more on the winners here.

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