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English Poet Jen Hadfield Wins Edward Morgan Poetry Competition

By Harriet Staff

From The Guardian:

Jen Hadfield was named the winner of the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Prize 2012 in an award ceremony at Edinburgh International Book Festival on Saturday.

Her poem, The Kids, won the £5,000 first prize in the competition judged by poets Gillian Ferguson and Don Paterson. Both judges said they admired the poem for being “disturbing”, though Hadfield, speaking at the event, said “it wasn’t meant to be a creepy poem”.

Poems are submitted anonymously for the prize, which was set up five years ago. Hadfield, the one published poet on the shortlist of five, said she was in shock, the ‘jittery’ kind, that she had won: ‘I’ve gone through a phase of not writing very much for quite a long time. When I start again I find it very hard to judge just how well those poems are going. I’m really chuffed that one of these new poems is working, or at least Don and Gillian think it’s working.’

The Kids improvises on the nursery rhyme “Monday’s Child” to explore ideas of memory and landscape. Hadfield said it was inspired by her own memories of youth, as well as her experiences of working with children as a tutor in Devon.

A graduate of the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Strathclyde, Hadfield was born in Cheshire but now lives in Shetland. In 2008 she became the youngest person to win the TS Eliot Prize for her collection Nigh-No-Place, which was inspired by her home in Shetland and her travels across Canada.

Full article here. Finalists’ poems here.

Posted in Poetry News on Monday, August 20th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.