Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize

2014 Introduction

The Poetry Trust invites submissions from publishers or individual poets for the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize 2014.

You can now download the entry details by clicking here.

The winning poet will receive a cheque for £2,500, a week of paid ‘protected’  writing time on the East Suffolk coast, plus a fee-paying invitation to read at the following Aldeburgh Poetry Festival – a unique opportunity to reach Britain’s largest and most appreciative poetry audience.

The Aldeburgh First Collection Prize was launched in 1989 to coincide with the first Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and is the oldest prize of its kind in the UK. The winner has always received both a cash prize and an invitation to read at the subsequent Festival.

In 2012, thanks to new support from the Fenton Arts Trust, the prize was re-titled The Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. We are delighted that a further three years of funding for the Prize – 2015-2017 – has been approved by the Fenton Arts Trust.

To read about this year’s Prize judges, please click here.

In mid-September 2014 a shortlist of up to five titles will be announced. The 2014 winner will be announced on Friday 7 November at the opening main reading of the 26th Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, 7-9 November 2014.

Fenton Arts Trust logo

The Fenton Arts Trust is an arts charity
which focusses its efforts specifically
on the support of artists at the
beginning of their careers.

Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize

Poem 17

YUI
At Yui, travellers had a choice: risk drowning at sea or death by bandits
     on Satta Pass. In the garden this morning kill-fish lap
     their bowl indifferent to crows balancing on the rim.
     Ack-ack-ack-ack, crows laugh as they watch fish loop-the-loop.

Kikuyo shivers thinking of travellers peaky as an August moon,
     too close to the edge, torn between safety and danger.
     Trees fall away from the blue-green waters of Suruga,
     four junks head for the point of vanishing.

A grey thought clings to the ledge. He has forgotten. I am not jealous,
     though I know he’s not alone, Kikuyo thinks. She paints
     her bottom lip and chooses the high road. Leaves
     at once as clouds unravel the day.


Nancy Gaffield
Tokaido Road

(CB Editions 2011)

Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize

Previous winners

2013 Dan O’Brien – War Reporter (CB Editions)
2012
Olivia McCannon – Exactly My Own Length (Carcanet)
2011 Nancy Gaffield – Tokaido Road (CB editions)
2010 Christian Campbell – Running the Dusk (Peepal Tree)
2009 J.O. Morgan – Natural Mechanical (CB editions)
2008 Ciaran Berry – The Sphere of Birds (The Gallery Press)
2007 Tiffany Atkinson – Kink and Particle (Seren)
2006 Roger Moulson – Waiting for the Night Rowers (Enitharmon)
2005 Nick Laird – To A Fault (Faber)
2004 Julia Casterton – The Doves of Finisterre (The Rialto)
2003 Martha Kapos – My Night in Cupid’s Palace (Enitharmon)
2003 Helena Nelson – Starlight on Water (The Rialto)
2003 Matthew Welton – The Book of Matthew (Carcanet)
2002 Henry Shukman – In Doctor No’s Garden (Cape)
2001 Esther Morgan – Beyond Calling Distance (Bloodaxe)
2000 Colette Bryce – The Heel of Bernadette (Picador)
1999 Cliff Yates – Henry’s Clock (Smith/Doorstop)
1998 Tamar Yoseloff – Sweetheart (Slow Dancer Press)
1997 Robin Robertson – A Painted Field (Picador)
1996 Glyn Wright – Could Have Been Funny (Spike)
1995 Gwyneth Lewis – Parables & Faxes (Bloodaxe)
1994 Sue Stewart – Inventing the Fishes (Anvil)
1993 no prize awarded
1992 Susan Wicks – Singing Underwater (Faber)
1991 Mark Roper – The Hen Ark (Peterloo)
1990 Donald Atkinson – A Sleep of Drowned Fathers (Peterloo)
1989 John Lucas – Studying Grosz on the Bus (Peterloo)

Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize

How to enter

Any first collection of at least 40 pages with primary publication in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 1 August 2013 and 31 July 2014 is eligible. Submissions can be from publishers or individual poets.

The deadline for receiving three bound or proof copies with a note of the date of publication will be Friday 25th July 2014.

Any first collection of at least 40 pages published in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland between 1 August 2013 and 31 July 2014 is eligible. Books originally published overseas but with UKdistribution are NOT eligible.

Three bound or proof copies with a note of the date of publication must be received by Friday 25 July 2014. All entries to:

The Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize
The Poetry Trust
The Cut
9 New Cut
Halesworth
Suffolk IP19 8BY

You can now download the entry details by clicking here.

 

Fenton Arts Trust logo

The Fenton Arts Trust is an arts charity
which focusses its efforts specifically
on the support of artists at the
beginning of their careers.

 

Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize

More info

2014 Judges

The judges of this year’s Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize are Imtiaz Dharker, Robert Seatter (Chair) and Anthony Wilson.

Imtiaz Dharker has published four collections in the UK and her fifth Over the Moon (Bloodaxe) will be published the autumn. Born in Pakistan and raised in Glasgow, she now lives between London and Mumbai, where she also works as a documentary filmmaker, in addition to being an artist with solo exhibitions in the UK, India and Hong Kong.

Robert Seatter (Chair) published his third collection Writing King Kong (Seren) in 2011. He has worked as an EFL teacher in Italy and France, an actor, a journalist, in publishing and more recently for the BBC – as Communication & Partnership Manager and now as Head of BBC History. He joined The Poetry Trust’s Board of Trustees in 2008.

Anthony Wilson has published four collections, most recently Riddance (Worple 2012). He has edited books on poetry and creativity for teachers and is author of Love for Now (Impress Books), a memoir of his experience of cancer. He has a popular blog and will be the 2014 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival Blogger.

Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize

2011

The Aldeburgh First Collection Prize was launched in 1989 to coincide with the first Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and remains the oldest prize of its kind in the UK. The winner receives both a cash prize and an invitation to read at the subsequent Festival in addition to a paid weeks writing time on the Suffolk coast. The prize is awarded - in the opinion of the judges - to the best first collection of poetry published in printed book form in the UK and Republic of Ireland in the preceding year.

In 2010 the Prize was awarded to young Caribbean poet Christian Campbell for Running the Dusk (Peepal Tree Press).

Judge Jo Shapcott praised the collection as a “bravura performance” describing Campbell’s poems as “energetic, fluid and musical and full of loss, hope and imagination. “The book, which was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, was described by fellow judge Neil Rollinson as “the clear stand out among all the volumes I read.”

Campbell responded to news of his win with:
Let’s just say that I’m ‘feeling good’ in the Nina Simone way! I’m honoured to be a part of a moment of great energy and transformation in contemporary poetry in the UK. It’s very, very difficult for any young poet, and for any Caribbean poet, to get this level of recognition.

Previous winners of the prize include Tiffany Atkinson, Colette Bryce, Nick Laird, Esther Morgan, Robin Robertson, Henry Shukman and Susan Wicks.