Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize

2014 Introduction


The winner of the 2013 Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize was Dan O’Brien for his book War Reporter (CB Editions).

The book was chosen by judges Robert Seatter (chair), Maura Dooley and Peter Blegvad from a shortlist of Dear Boy by Emily Berry (Faber), Heimlich’s Manoeuvre by Paula Cunningham (Smith Doorstop Books), Chick by Hannah Lowe (Bloodaxe Books), War Reporter by Dan O’Brien (CB Editions) and Instant-flex by Heather Phillipson (Bloodaxe Books)

History
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.

Between 2003 and 2008, the award was renamed the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and its profile and value substantially increased, thanks to six-year investment from the Jerwood Charitable Foundation. Instead of an anonymous panel, three established poets are appointed each year as judges including a Chair - latterly Michael Laskey; most recently Robert Seatter. Recent judges have included Gillian Allnutt, Helen Dunmore, Vicki Feaver, Jamie McKendrick, Penelope Shuttle and Christopher Reid.

Between 2012 and 2015, thanks to new three-year support from the Fenton Arts Trust, the prize will be re-titled The Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.

The 2014 Fention Aldeburgh First Collecton Prize
Details of the year’s Prize will be available in February 2014.

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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.

Full entry details will be available in February 2014.

 

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Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize

More info

2014 Prize

Details of this year’s Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection will be available in February 2014.

The Shortlist

The shortlist of up to five titles will be released mid-September 2014.

The Winner & The Prize

The winner will be announced on Friday 7 November at the opening main reading of the 26th Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, 7-9 November 2014. S/he will receive a cheque for £2,000, a week of paid ‘protected’ writing time on the East Suffolk coast, and 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.

 

 

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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.