Melita Hume Prize 2013
The Judge in 2013 was Jon Stone, poet, editor and publisher, born in 1983. Stone is one of the best young British poets now writing. He was commended in the 2011 National Poetry Competition and won a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award in 2012. A full length collection, School of Forgery, was published by Salt in the same year and was a Poetry Book Society Summer Recommendation. His poetry has also been included in numerous anthologies, including The Best British Poetry 2011 (Salt, 2011), and Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins, 2012).
Jon Stone said about the Melita Hume Prize: “The recognition and nurturing of emerging talent is a vital service to our culture, but publishing new poets is always a risky venture, even for the mainstream presses. Both the generosity and wisdom, therefore, of a prize that offers both money and a first book deal cannot be understated.”
Jon also said, of the selection process, “Making my way through all the collections on this shortlist was lots of fun, a privilege and a bit of a wild ride. Comparing and contrasting them was, however, extremely vexing and difficult, largely because each pursues its own path and few jostle for the same light. How does one compare, say, Richie McCaffrey’s bracingly spare artefact poems, each a neat little key, to Maria Louise Apichella’s book-length north Wales love epic? All of the work was lovingly put together and of a quality that speaks to years of dedication. I’m fairly certain that many of those who didn’t win will triumph elsewhere before too long.”
Winner – £1,000 and publication by Eyewear in 2014.
Marion McCready for Tree Language
“I chose Marion McCready’s Tree Language as the overall winner for two major reasons: firstly, the poetry is incredibly dark and rich and bloody (blood is a particular theme), with frequently brilliant lines and almost Celan-esque word pairings: ‘blood-cut son’, ‘snow-eyes dressing’, ‘death fruits’. Or how about a poem that opens, running on from its title:
Like a dead shrew
the baby lies comically still.
Secondly, as a collection, it’s superbly structured. Repetition within and between the poems is used to haunting effect; often, a motif or image returns in the manner of a memory resurfacing, or a recurring dream. The loosely held themes allow her to cover a range of territory, including war poems, over four distinct chapters, without seeming to stray from the direct path established in the opening pieces. This is assured, disconcertingly potent work with a sharp and distinctive flavour.”
Todd Swift, Publisher of Eyewear said “We are thrilled to be publishing Marion in 2014. Tree Language is an extraordinary collection from a debut poet of rare ability and vision. This collection is a real find and I am ecstatic that through the Melita Hume Prize we are able to celebrate such a strong talent. ”
Tree Language will be publishing by Eyewear in Spring 2014.
Marion McCready was born in 1977 on the Isle of Lewis and brought up in Dunoon, a small town in the west coast of Scotland by the Firth of Clyde where she currently lives with her husband and two small children. Whilst studying at Glasgow University she won the RSAMD Edwin Morgan Poetry Prize. Marion’s poems have been published in a variety of literary journals and magazines including Shearsman Magazine, Gutter, Envoi, Edinburgh Review, The Glasgow Herald, Northwords Now, Poetry Scotland, Anon, The Red Wheelbarrow and Poetry Salzburg Review. Her poems have also been anthologised in Glimmer, (Cinnamon Press 2010) and Bird Book I, (Sidekick Books 2011). Her debut pamphlet collection, Vintage Sea, was published by Calder Wood Press (2011). She recently won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award (2012/13).
Runner-Up – £150
Rachael Madelaine Nicholas for Living Softly After
“Nicholas’ voice in these poems feels incredibly original and natural, unburdened by the need to emulate. There’s great variety in rhythm and shape, and the whole collection has something of the flavour of folk tales and faery stories, ritual and incantation. Her titles are terrific too, particularly when she follows a poem called ‘Where Wolves Were’ with ‘Where Wolves Weren’t’.” – Jon Stone
Highly Commended – £75
Richie McCaffrey for Salvage
“Salvage is a tightly honed and thematically coherent collection, whose poems frequently concern heirlooms, relics, curios or other objects. McCaffrey uses these items as ways to access and investigate fragments of people’s inner lives, and the tone and form of his poems seems to reflect this: fragment-sized, intricately constructed, worn to a smooth finish.” – Jon Stone
Highly Commended – £75
Shelley Roche-Jacques for Men, Woman and Mice
“Men, Woman and Mice is a different prospect again. Shelley Roche-Jacques writes muscular, dense, ornate stanzas, studded with tough fragments of language but still with an overall feeling of smoothness, suppleness. Of all the shortlist, she made the most use of traditional structure and rhyme, displaying real skill with these techniques. She also infuses her narratives with dramatic flair.” – Jon Stone
The 2013 short list was announced in July 2013.
Publisher Todd Swift said ‘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.’
The shortlist was as follows, and you can find out more about each of the poets by clicking through here
Keiran Patrick Goddard
Rachael Madeleine Nicholas
V. A. Sola Smith
The 2014 prize will open in early 2014. Please sign up to our mailing list for details when it is announced.
Please click through for the 2013 terms and conditions.