The Resurgence Poetry Prize 2017

The Resurgence Poetry Prize 2017

Winners of the Poetry Prize Announced

The Resurgence Poetry Prize 2017 - the world's leading award for a single poem in English on an ecological theme - has been won by the poet Seán Hewitt.

The Australian poet Cath Drake took second prize, with the British writer Emily Diamand third.

The result was announced at a ceremony during the Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival held at the weekend.

Hewitt, 27, took the £5000 first prize for his poem, Ilex. "I'm delighted," he told Resurgence & Ecologist afterwards. He is currently studying for a doctorate in Irish Literature at the University of Liverpool, having previously studied English at Cambridge. In 2014, he was awarded Arts Council England funding for a series of poems, and in 2015 was selected as one of the Poetry Trust's Aldeburgh Eight. In addition to the award, he will also receive a writer's residency at White House Farm, Great Glemham.

Cath Drake received the £2000 second prize for her work, Dhanakosa, Scotland. Emily Diamand won the £1000 third prize for her poem, Bomb. Nine further entries were commended.

The judges of the 2017 awards, which attracted entries from around the world, were the poets and academics Mina Gorji and Lavinia Greenlaw. Both commented on the high standards of poetry the competition had attracted.

The Resurgence Poetry Prize was established in 2014, through the initiative and generosity of the entrepreneur and environmentalist Peter Phelps, together with Sir Andrew Motion, the former Poet Laureate, and the actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley, inspired by Satish Kumar, Editor Emeritus of The Resurgence Trust. The inaugural winner was the Filipina-American poet Luisa Ingloria (2015) and the poet and Hull University lecturer Rob Miles won the 2016 prize.

Greg Neale, Editor-in-Chief of The Resurgence Trust and Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, said: "The very first issue of Resurgence, published in 1966, contained a poem by Michael Horovitz, and since then, an appreciation of poetry and the arts has been central to our work for peace, the environment and social justice. We'd like to thank Peter Phelps for his continuing generosity and support for the Prize, the judges and the staff of the Poetry School who have administered the award this year - and, of course, the very many poets from around the world, whose entries show the importance of the topics their work addresses."

The winning poems will be published in future issues of Resurgence & Ecologist, and on this website.

Sally Carruthers, director of The Poetry School, which administered the award, said: "The Poetry School was honoured to help the Resurgence Prize this year. We cannot think of a more valuable competition in the current time and were grateful for the thousands of wonderful entries from all over the world."

About the competition

The Resurgence Poetry Prize with The Poetry School is the world's first major ecopoetry award. Three prizes will be awarded each year for original and previously unpublished ecopoems in English. All details are on the Rules page.

With a first prize of £5,000 for the best single poem embracing ecological themes, the award ranks amongst the highest of any English language single poem competition. Second prize is £2,000 and third prize £1,000.

Prize Founders

Founded in the spring of 2014 by the former UK Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, actress and green campaigner Joanna Lumley, and entrepreneur and environmentalist Peter Phelps, the Resurgence Poetry Prize reflects the founders' shared passion for and commitment to poems that investigate and challenge the interrelationship between nature and human culture.

The Prize operates under the auspices of the Resurgence Trust, publishers of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. In 2017, the Resurgence Trust partnered with The Poetry School, the UK's largest provider of poetry education, to run the prize. The Prize is governed by an executive board appointed by The Resurgence Trust which includes long-term peace and environment activist Satish Kumar, the Founders and other representatives, and which is chaired by Sir Andrew Motion. Peter Phelps is the Prize's Executive Director, responsible for the overall management and development of the competition.

The judges for 2017 are Lavinia Greenlaw and Mina Gorji.

The deadline for the 2017 competition is Aug 17 2017.

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