News / prize

  • KAVEH AKBAR TO JUDGE INAUGURAL FRANZ WRIGHT PRIZE

    KAVEH AKBAR TO JUDGE INAUGURAL FRANZ WRIGHT PRIZE

    EYEWEAR PUBLISHING is excited to announce a new prize named for Franz Wright. Pulitzer-winning poet Franz Wright was the author of over twenty collections of original poetry and six volumes of translations, and passed away from cancer in 2015. This prize is intended to honour his inestimable contribution to poetry, and support poets of any age and nationality in his memory.

    Wright is unique in that he is filial half of the only father/son pairing to have won the Pulitzer Prize in the same category (with his father, James Wright). Born in Vienna and raised in America, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in 1977. During his illustrious career he was the recipient of a Whiting Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He taught at Emerson College, among other universities, and his published works include Walking to Martha’s Vineyard, God’s Silence and most recently The Toy Throne, which was published by Tungsten Press in 2016. He was also known for his work in the field of mental health.

    The Franz Wright Prize for Poetry is open to submissions from poets of all ages, backgrounds, education levels, citizenship statuses, and nationalities: anyone can enter any manuscript. The only stipulations are that the manuscript must be in English, original, unpublished, not translated. Submissions must be 40 pages or more in length.

    The winner will receive $2000, and will be published by Eyewear on March 18th, 2019 – which would have been Wright’s 66th birthday. Submissions will open on January 1st, 2018, and close June 1st, 2018. Kaveh Akbar will judge the prize in its first year.

    Akbar is the author of the chapbook Portrait of the Alcoholic (Sibling Rivalry Press, January 2017); his first collection Calling a Wolf a Wolf was published in the US by Alice James Books in September 2017, and will be published in the UK by Penguin in February 2018. Born in Tehran, he is currently a professor at Purdue University’s MFA program and Randolph College. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, as well as the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Akbar is also the founder and editor of Divedapper, which conducts interviews with major voices in contemporary poetry.

     

    Kaveh pictured

    Dr Todd Swift, Publishing Director of Eyewear, says “We are very grateful to Franz Wright’s estate for this incredible honour, and thrilled to launch this prize in recognition of Franz’s support of poetry. Eyewear has always championed a diverse range of voices in poetry, and are proud to be taking submissions from poets of any age, from all over the world. Kaveh will make a wonderful judge for this first iteration, and we’re sure he’ll have many fantastic manuscripts to choose from.”

     

    Photo credit for Franz Wright: Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright

  • THE EYEWEAR PRIZE FOR THE 21 BEST POETRY BOOKS OF 21ST CENTURY

    THE EYEWEAR PRIZE
    FOR THE 21 BEST POETRY BOOKS OF THE 21ST CENTURY, IN ENGLISH

    is a one-off major international award, to be judged by a large panel of many leading poets, critics and scholars. It will identify, celebrate and reward the poets and publishers of small, medium and large presses who have created the very best poetry collections in the English language in the past 17 years.

    Shortlisted poets and their publisher will both receive £250 each, and an invitation to read at the gala awards ceremony in the UK, AT Pembroke College, Cambridge University, 2018.

    The BEST BOOK OF THE 21ST CENTURY will be awarded £2,100, ADDITIONALLY. That’s £1,050 to EACH poet and publisher.

    ALL 21 winning books will be on display at the gala, and widely publicised at our award-winning blog, and via social media.The shortlist will be announced no later than TWO MONTHS FROM FINAL CLOSURE OF PRIZE.

    The judges have been selected to represent all schools and styles of contemporary poetics, and hail from Australia, America, Canada, India, Ireland, and the UK. The full list of judges is listed below.

    ALL SINGLE-AUTHOR POETRY COLLECTIONS, including pamphlets, PUBLISHED 2000-2017 are eligible; this includes all poetry collections, including self-published books (in which case the author would also win the publisher award). The publications must have appeared in physical form on paper, PRINTED in whatever format (i.e. from perfect bound, to loose sheets in a box).

    Poets, their publishers, and members of the public who wish to submit (in other words, nominate) a book may do so. Publishers, poets, and the public are free to submit/nominate as many books as they wish. You may nominate your own work.

    Once a book has been submitted, it will be publicly recorded (title, author and publisher listed) on our WEB site WITHIN 48 HOURS – duplications will be refunded. Each book will require one copy to be physically submitted within one month of submitting the name. All books are to be posted to the Eyewear postal address: Suite 333, 19-21 Crawford Street, London, UK, W1H 1PJ.

    All shortlisted books will go to the judging panel. All other books will be donated to charity shops.

    The sifting panel will consist of the Eyewear editorial board, including Todd Swift, Alexandra Payne and Rosanna Hildyard, in consultation with members of the final judges' panel.

    NOMINATE HERE: https://eyewearpublishing.submittable.com/submit/85269/the-eyewear-prize-for-the-21-best-printed-poetry-books-of-the-21st-century-in-en

    The final judging panel comprises* the 32+ poets, scholars, and writers listed here

     

    * The panel of judges may change, without invalidating the competition, as the large pool of judges guarantees a degree of continuity.

     

    Guidelines

    • Submissions must be made via Eyewear Publishing Ltd’s Submittable page. The fee to submit each title is £20. This will help defray the cost of the prize.

    • Books must be original work, by a single author, published in the English language in the years 2000 to 2017. There are no restrictions on style or subject matter. Eyewear staff encourage writers from diverse backgrounds, as well as indie and small press poets, to submit their work. SELECTEDS, COLLECTEDS and WORKS OF TRANSLATION will not be considered. POSTHUMOUS collections may be submitted.

    Eligibility

    All poets over the age of 18 from anywhere in the world are eligible.

    Code of Ethics

    • All entries will be screened by the Eyewear Publishing Ltd staff.

    • Given the large panel size, there are no limits on submissions relating to connections to a particular judge, since we will require each judge to recuse themselves from any decision involving a former or current student, friend, partner, family member, or close colleague.

    • Authors’ works of poetry published by Eyewear Publishing Ltd are not eligible.

    This prize is given in a spirit of open reflection and welcome, and acknowledges that prizes are by their very nature somewhat invidious - but the alternative - to not seek what appears most worth reading - in an age where the poetry book is always potentially at risk from competing forms of entertainment and media - seems more so.

    Note: Eyewear Publishing Ltd reserves the right to cancel the prize due to unforeseen circumstances at any time, at which point, all monies and books submitted will be returned within 3 months.

  • ANNOUNCING OUR GREAT 12-STRONG HUME PRIZE SHORTLIST

    THE MELITA HUME POETRY PRIZE 2017 SHORTLIST

    This year’s shortlist of 12 eligible poets is likely more diverse than ever in the prize’s six-year history. Past winners have been chosen by leading UK poets, such as Tim Dooley, Emily Berry, and Mark Ford – and last year’s co-winner, Maria Apichella, was a Forward-nominee this year for Psalmody. The £1,500 prize is open to any young poet with a debut collection, 35 years or under at time of entry, who either is resident in the UK or Ireland, or a citizen of either place. This allows for a very open field.

    This year’s judge Vahni Capildeo, a prize-winning leading poet, will have her work cut out for her. There are poets from across the UK, Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as two poets hailing from South Africa. Showcasing the internationalism of poetry in these isles, some of the shortlisted poets live at least part-time in Mumbai, Barcelona and Hong Kong. And all styles and forms of poetry are represented, from avant-garde, to mainstream, to spoken word and performance. 

    The 12 debut poets are:

    Alex Howard is 29 and lives in Scotland. Alex attended the University of Edinburgh where he graduated with a first in English Literature. Since then, he has gone on to publish poetry and prose widely earning several prizes and awards. His debut novel Library Cat won the Beryl Bainbridge Best First Time Author Award (2017) and has been translated into Italian and Korean, while his poetry has earned him a place as a quarterfinalist in the Scottish Slam Championships, a reading slot at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and the Red Cross International Writing Prize. He is currently completing an AHRC funded PhD at the University of Edinburgh where he teaches.

    *

    Caitlin Stobie was born in 1993 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. She is currently reading for her PhD at the University of Leeds and is co-editor of EPIZOOTICS!  - and her poems and short stories have been published internationally in journals including Poetry & Audience, Zoomorphic, Flash, The Stockholm Review of Literature, The Kalahari Review, and New Contrast. In 2016 an earlier version of her unpublished debut collection was shortlisted for the RædLeaf International Poetry Award.

    *

    Carina Hart was born in Norfolk in 1987. She studied English Literature at Cambridge, York and UEA, where she completed her PhD in 2012. She has published poetry in InPrint, The Cadaverine and The Apple Anthology, and was also shortlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize in 2013. In 2017 she has been highly commended in the Aurora Competition for short fiction, and is shortlisted for the Overton Poetry Prize. Carina works as a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, and lives in Nottingham and Malaysia.

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    Christian Wethered was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and the University of Bristol. He has been published both in Ireland and the UK. His work has featured in the anthologies In the Cinnamon Corners 2017 and the Aesthetica Creative Works Anthology. He was third-placed in the 2016 Café Writers Competition (judged by Andrew McMillan), and recently selected for the 2017 Poetry Ireland Introductions Series. He lives in Dublin.

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    Eloise Stevens was born in London, in 1988, and is currently based between Mumbai and London. She holds a degree in French and Portuguese literature from Oxford University. She has performed at The Cuckoo Club, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, in Mumbai, the Edinburgh Fringe, the Poetry Café, London, and is a Farrago slam champion.  She is currently working on a performance of her collection, The Beat of Beast, which was shortlisted for The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective prize. 

    *

    Geraldine O’Kane poet, creative writing facilitator, arts administrator and mental health advocate, was born September 19th, 1981 and was brought up in the village of Ardboe on the shores of Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland. She attended St. Joseph's Grammar School Donaghmore, and went on to study English and History at the University of Ulster. She currently lives and works in Belfast. Geraldine is one half of Poetry NI. In October 2015 she gave a TED Talk for TEDx Belfast on poetry and mental health and read at the Poems Upstairs Series in association with Poetry Ireland Feb’ 2016. She is a recipient of the Artist Career Enhancement Scheme (ACES) 2015/16 grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. 

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    Jacqueline Thompson is from Arbroath on the East Coast of Scotland. She has an MLitt in Creative Writing from The University of Dundee and a PhD from The University of Edinburgh. Her poems have appeared in New Writing Scotland, Gutter, Poetry Ireland Review and The Scotsman. She has been shortlisted for the Grierson Verse Prize, the Westport Arts Festival Poetry Prize and the Jane Martin Poetry Prize, and she won the Neil Gunn Writing Competition in 2017. She currently works as a writer in Edinburgh. 

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    Jason Eng Hun Lee is a poet of mixed British and Chinese ancestry. He has been published in EnvoiAcumen, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and his first collection Beds in the East was a finalist for the Hong Kong University Prize (2010). He is an occasional guest editor/judge/reviewer for Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and regular contributor to the Hong Kong literary scene. He has a PhD in English Literature and currently lectures at Hong Kong Baptist University. 

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    Mariah Whelan was born in Oxford in 1986. She studied English at Queen’s University, Belfast before completing an MSt in Creative Writing at Oxford University. She has lived in Japan and Spain and is currently based in the Centre for New Writing at The University of Manchester where she was awarded a scholarship to write poems and research trauma in contemporary Irish fiction. She was awarded a distinction for her master’s thesis, a novel-in-sonnets titled City of Rivers, which won the AM Heath Prize and individual poems were shortlisted for The Bridport Prize. 

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    Rebecca Close was born in London and is an artist, researcher, poet and translator based between London and Barcelona. She studied Philosophy at Manchester University and has a Master’s Degree in Spanish Philology. Her forthcoming new media publication Reinscriptions, co-produced with Anyely Marín, won the Miquel Casablancas Prize for Visual Arts (2017). Her poems have appeared recently in datableedzine, Ambit, Magma and Lemony Lemons.

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    Rhiannon Williams was born in Islington in 1992. She grew up in London and subsequently in Cyprus, where she lived for eight years before returning to the UK and studying for a BA in English Literature at the University of Exeter. She has had poetry featured on The Island Review, and is currently studying for an MA in Narrative Environments at Central Saint Martins in London. 

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    Thembe Mvula is a twenty-three-year-old poet and spoken word performer born in Grahamstown, South Africa. She has lived in the UK, in Gloucester, for almost fourteen years and is currently based in London, where she works part time in community engagement whilst being a freelance poet. Thembe graduated with a BA in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Kent in 2016. Writing from the age 12, Thembe had her first poem published in a Young Writers Anthology at age 15. Since then, she has mainly shared her poetry on the stage, featuring across platforms such as The Roundhouse, Jawdance and TEDx.

  • Faisal Mohyuddin Wins the 2017 Sexton Prize for Poetry

    CHICAGO HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER WINS LEADING UK POETRY BOOK PRIZE

    THE SEXTON PRIZE, JUDGED THIS YEAR BY MAJOR POET KIMIKO HAHN, HAS BEEN WON BY Faisal Mohyuddin, for his debut poetry collection The Displaced Children of Displaced Children 

    Mohyuddin's work was selected from a remarkably diverse and competitive shortlist. His prize will be $1000 USD, and publication by British, London-based independent publishing house, Eyewear – and his book will be distributed across the USA by SPD and in the UK and Ireland by Central Books. 

    Final Judge Professor Hahn - Distinguished Professor, English Department MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation Queens College, The City University of New York - said of the winning book: “Mohyuddin's craft is composed of measurable touches that go hardly noticed. And the subject! Serious stuff , yes, but the collection contains a variety of tones and concerns. There is the jelly-fish in space (lament though the poem may be), a talking banana, binging on pumpkin pie. To be sure, the title refers to diaspora and the poems refer to families in and immigrants from Pakistan. There are a literal landscapes and clear memories to be enjoyed. And yet, because these poems are so well crafted and the emotion so well expressed, the subject matter is overtaken by such themes as boundary, legacy, loss, claim. Whether a long narrative poem, or shorter lyric poems, these are the works of a poet, mature in his concerns and thinking.” 

    Mohyuddin had this reaction to his win: “For years I have turned to Kimiko Hahn’s poetry to find beauty, inspiration, love, and, above all, a feeling of home. Few poets’ work moves me the way her work moves me. So when I learned Professor Hahn had selected my collection as the winner of the 2017 Sexton Prize, I was incredibly honored, elated, and quite honestly flabbergasted. This is undoubtedly an amazing honor, the depths of which I cannot fully grasp. For that, I am profoundly grateful to Professor Hahn and to everyone at Eyewear.” 

    Faisal Mohyuddin is the author of the chapbook The Riddle of Longing, forthcoming Fall 2017 from Backbone Press. He is the recipient of the 2014 Edward Stanley Award from Prairie Schooner, and his work has also appeared in Narrative, RHINO, Catamaran, Chicago Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, Crab Orchard Review, Atlanta Review, and elsewhere. New work is forthcoming in The Missouri Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and the anthology Misrepresented People: Poets Respond to Trump’s America. A graduate of Carleton College, Northwestern University, and Columbia College Chicago, and an alumnus of the U.S. Department of State’s Teachers for Global Classrooms fellowship, Faisal teaches English at Highland Park High School in Illinois and lives with his wife and son in Chicago.  He is a proud American Muslim of Pakistani descent.

    Eyewear books was founded in 2012 by Cambridge writer-in-residence Dr Todd Swift, and publishes works by leading poets, including Paul Muldoon, George Szirtes, Rebecca Gayle Howell, George Elliott Clarke, Hester Knibbe, Sumia Sukkar, Don Share, Keaton Henson, Jan Owen, Mark Ford and Elspeth Smith. 

    The runners- up are:

    The Tilt Torn Away from the Seasons by Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers

    Truce Country by Sue Hyon Bae 

    They will both be offered a publishing contract for Eyewear and a $200 USD advance as their prize. Of these Judge Hanh said: “In a very rich and complex grouping of brilliant collections, these still stood out for me.” 

    Mohyuddin’s book will be published in early 2018 in time for AWP, and will be formally launched in London sometime next year. 

    Last year's winner was American Purgatory, selected by Don Share, and written by Rebecca Gayle Howell. It was an indie best-seller this past year.