Manchester Poetry Prize 2018 shortlist revealed

News - Prizes Friday, 07 December 2018

Carol Ann Duffy returns to help judge winner in 10th anniversary year

The shortlist for the 10th anniversary edition of the Manchester Poetry Prize has been unveiled – with founder Carol Ann Duffy (pictured) returning to judge the contest in her final year as Poet Laureate.

Organised by Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, the Manchester Poetry Prize is part of the Manchester Writing Competition. Launched in 2008 by creative director of Manchester Writing School, professor Carol Ann Duffy, to mark the start of her laureateship, each year £10,000 is awarded to the winners of the Poetry Prize and Manchester Fiction Prize.

The 2018 prize features a shortlist of five: Zillah Bowes, Katie Hale, Libby Hart, Maggie Millner and Molly Underwood.

The judging panel is chaired by Adam O’Riordan, academic director of Manchester Writing School and includes the original 2008 judges Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker and Carol Ann Duffy.

Duffy said: "The tenth edition of the Manchester Poetry Prize once again brought a wealth of diverse voices to the attention of the judges. We were impressed with the vibrancy and range of the poets, their connectedness to various traditions, and the energy with which they invigorated those traditions.

"It was fitting that we [the three judges from the first year] returned to judge the Manchester Poetry Prize again this year, alongside long-standing panel chair Adam, marking ten years of this competition.

"We have seen a remarkable decade of giving money to writers – which we always love to do! – and creating opportunities for writer development, launching and boosting literary careers.

"We are proud to have started something that has allowed various judging panels to seek out, celebrate and inspire the most vibrant and original poetic voices, old and young, new and established, from around the world."

Since its launch, the Manchester Writing Competition has attracted more than 17,000 submissions from over 50 countries and awarded more than £155,000 to its winners. The competition has helped to establish writers, including poet Helen Mort who used her 2008 prize money to buy a car and travel to poetry events around the country, Mandy Coe, Mona Arshi and Pascale Petit. Alison Moore, shortlisted for Fiction Prize in 2009, was later shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

The winners of this year’s £10,000 Poetry and Fiction Prizes will be revealed at a gala ceremony on Friday February 1 2019 in Manchester. The shortlist for this year’s Manchester Fiction Prize will be announced later in the month, judged by Nicholas Royle, Niven Govinden, Livi Michael and Alison Moore.

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