Melita Hume Prize 2012
The Judge in 2012 was Tim Dooley, poet and reviews editor, Poetry London, one of the UK's leading poetry magazines.
Judge Tim Dooley’s Comments
Winner - £1,000 and publication by Eyewear 2013
This is a powerful and original collection, which reveals its riches and depths gradually and rewards repeated reading. Klaces is well-read and does not wear his learning lightly, yet the poetry is not wilfully clever or self-satisfied but fully accessible – its engaging footnotes integrated into the wit and imagination of the whole work.
Bottled Air works as a book not just a collection of poems. It evokes the tragic European past and the global instantaneous present. At its heart is a wounded compassion and an openness to the variousness of experience. What he writes in a poem from the central section (set in a Bulgarian orphanage) is true of much else in the book:
…this is what being human is really,
something plain and unbearably alive.
Klaces sets his own agenda as a writer but creates a trust in the reader, which is unusually well rewarded.
Caleb Klaces was born in Birmingham, UK, in 1983. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2012, and was named a Granta 'New Poet' in the same year. His poetry and essays appear in a variety of journals in the US and UK, including Poetry, Poetry London and The Threepenny Review, and his chapbook, All Safe All Well, was published by Flarestack Poets in 2011. He is founding editor of online collaborative poetry project Likestarlings. His work appears in Lung Jazz.
Runner Up - £100
Colette Sensier is a genuine and resourceful writer, whose poems display emotional intelligence and imaginative strength. There is breadth in subject matter, control of form and in her best poems a mysterious, almost magical quality.
Highly Commended - £50
The first section of this collection is very impressive with precisely observed scenes of life growing up between cultures and a real command of form.
Bethan Tichbourne is a vivid writer who creates some memorable images and has a highly original approach to language and subject.