Posted: 25 March 2011
"Poetry crosses time, the old play becomes the new poetry. Here's the truth of language colliding with the clichés of politics and the advertisement of war. This verse play is entertainment, challenge and a lie detector."
- Judges of the Ted Hughes Award
Judges Gillian Clarke, Stephen Raw and Jeanette Winterson have awarded the 2010 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry to Kaite O'Reilly for her extraordinary retelling of Aeschylus' play, The Persians.
Now in its second year, the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry is awarded annually to recognise excellence in poetry. It is one of the only awards to acknowledge the wide range of work being produced by poets - not just in books, but beyond.
The Persians is a beautifully poetic version of Aeschylus' tragic play, retold by Kaite O'Reilly. Her masterly retelling of this 2500 year old story focuses on how war destroys people's identity. Her use of language is contemporary but never loses any of the historical context.
O'Reilly's work has been performed nationally and internationally. She was recently awarded an Unlimited Commission to develop The ‘d' Monologues as part of the Cultural Olympiad, celebrations for the London Olympic Games 2012.
The £5,000 prize is donated by Carol Ann Duffy, funded from the annual honorarium the Poet Laureate traditionally receives from HM The Queen.
Award-winning playwright Kaite O'Reilly''s version of Aeschylus's The Persians was produced by the National Theatre Wales as a site specific performance at Cilieni Village in August 2010. It was directed by Mike Pearson with a stellar Welsh cast that included Sian Thomas, Paul Rhys, Richard Harrington, Richard Lynch, Richard Huw Morgan, John Rowley, Gerald Tyler and Rhys Rusbatch.
Ted Hughes Award judges
Gillian Clarke was recently awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry for her latest collection, A Recipe for Water (Carcanet), and in recognition of her distinguished contribution to poetry. She has been the National Poet for Wales since 2008, she is President of Ty Newydd and tutor of the M.Phil in Creative Writing at the University of Glamorgan. Other recent publications include her prose collection, At the Source.
Stephen Raw is a self-employed artist and designer. He also produces ‘bespoke' lettering for publishers, architects and design groups throughout Europe. A recent commission was to design the Memorial to the Royal Ballet Founders now set in the floor of Westminster Abbey close by Poet's Corner. He has exhibited widely.
Jeanette Winterson OBE is the author of nine novels for adults, including Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, The.PowerBook, Sexing the Cherry, Lighthousekeeping, and The Stone Gods. Her books for children include Tanglewreck and The Battle of the Sun. She is also a regular contributor to The Times. Her work is published worldwide.
Ted Hughes Award Shortlist
Martin Figura - Whistle
Kaite O'Reilly -The Persians
Christopher Reid - Song of Lunch
David Swann - The Privilege of Rain
Katharine Towers - The Floating Man
Source: The Poetry Society
Categories: Poetry Prizes