Back in February, we reported that the Melita Hume Poetry Prize was open for submissions for its second year of discovering young UK poetry talent. Five months later, publishers and award backers Eyewear and judge Jon Stone have whittled entries down to a shortlist of thirteen nominees which was announced late last week. Having initially predicted a shortlist of between six and ten, the publisher says the number of nominees is down to the year, so for better odds we’d suggest holding off entering as long as you can whilst still being eligible to participate.
Eyewear’s Todd Swift says of the shortlist: ‘The 2013 shortlist is wonderfully varied, reflecting the wide range of young poets in the UK and Eire. Shortlisted poets come from all across Scotland, Wales and England, and we are delighted to have such a fantastic spread of styles and voices. The challenge of choosing a shortlist shows that there is huge amount of talent amongst young poets and we are privileged to showcase just some of these new voices.’
Without further ado then, the nominated writers themselves in alphabetical order: Maria Apichella, Keiran Patrick Goddard, Carina Hart, Keith Jarrett, Mark Leech, Jessica Mayhew, Richie McCaffery, Marion McCready, Stefan Mohamed, Rachael Madeleine Nicholas, Shelley Roche-Jacques, V. A. Sola and Tom Weir (not that one).
The prize – which was open to debut full collections of poetry written in English by a poet aged 35 or under – will see the winner take home £1,000 and a publishing deal with Eyewear, and will be awarded in September. Sole judgement lies with the aforementioned Jon Stone, himself a 29 year old poet, editor and publisher whose 2012 collection of poems School of Forgery was a summer recommendation of the Poetry Book Society. Last year’s inaugural prize went to Birmingham’s Caleb Klaces for his collection Bottled Air, with a runner-up prize of £100 going to Colette Sensier and two commendations of £50 apiece going to Jason Eng Hun Lee and Bethan Tichbourne.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.