The Aldeburgh First Collection Prize 2011

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Posted: 27 May 2011


The Poetry Trust invites submissions from publishers or individual poets for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. Established in 1989, this is one of the most important poetry prizes in the UK and the first to recognise and support a poet at first collection stage.


The annual prize is awarded to the author of what in the opinion of the judges is the best first full collection of poetry published in book form. Any first collection of at least 40 pages published in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland between 1 August 2010 and 31 July 2011 is eligible.

Three bound or proof copies with a note of the date of publication must be received by 25 July 2011.

All entries to:
Aldeburgh First Collection Prize,
The Cut,
9 New Cut,
IP19 8BY

The shortlist of up to five titles will be released on Friday 16 September 2011.


The winner will receive:

a cheque for £1,000

a week of paid ‘protected' writing time on the East Suffolk coast

a fee-paying invitation to read at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival 2012 (a unique opportunity to reach Britain's largest and most appreciative poetry audience)

The winner will be announced at the 23rd Aldeburgh Poetry Festival
on Friday 4 November 2011.


Michael Laskey (Chair) co-founded the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival in 1989 and directed it for its first ten years. He is also the founder and co-editor of Smiths Knoll magazine. He has published four collections including The Tightrope Wedding which was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize and most recently The Man Alone: New & Selected Poems (2008).

Penelope Shuttle has published ten collections including Redgrove's Wife (2006) and her latest, Sandgrain and Hourglass (2010), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She has also published five novels and is co-author of two acclaimed prose works, The Wise Wound and Alchemy for Women.

Robert Seatter
's third collection Writing King Kong will be published later this year. He has worked as an EFL teacher in Italy and France, an actor, a journalist, in publishing and more recently for the BBC - as Communication & Partnership Manager and now as Head of BBC History. He joined The Poetry Trust's Board of Trustees in 2008.

Friday 4 - Sunday 6 November 2011


The UK's leading annual international celebration of contemporary poetry. An inspiring weekend of readings, discussions, workshops and so much more. Full programme available in August.

Winning the Aldeburgh was a nice surprise, and when the judges include poets whose own work you admire (in my case Christopher Reid), that aegis bolsters and fortifies the you that has to go back to your desk and face down the blank page. And it's always a kindness to give poets money.

Nick Laird
Winner 2005

It's very, very difficult for any young poet, and for any Caribbean poet, to get this level of recognition... Let's just say that I'm ‘feeling good' in the Nina Simone way!

Christian Campbell
Winner 2010

Winning the Prize came as happy news out of the blue. It felt like someone giving me the thumbs up and saying ‘Yes, keep on'. A little encouragement can go a long way in poetry.

Colette Bryce
Winner 2000

A welcome and valuable validation for any poet at the beginning of their career.

Robin Robertson
Winner 1997


2010 Christian Campbell - Running the Dusk (Peepal Tree)
2009 J O Morgan - Natural Mechanical (CB Editions)
2008 Ciaran Berry - The Sphere of Birds (Gallery Press)
2007 Tiffany Atkinson - Kink and Particle (Seren)
2006 Roger Moulson - Waiting for the Night Rowers (Enitharmon)
2005 Nick Laird - To a Fault (Faber)
2004 Julia Casterton - The Doves of Finisterre (Rialto)
2003 Martha Kapos - My Night in Cupid's Palace (Enitharmon)
Helena Nelson - Starlight on Water (Rialto)
Matthew Welton - The Book of Matthew (Carcanet)
2002 Henry Shukman - In Doctor No's Garden (Cape)
2001 Esther Morgan - Beyond Calling Distance (Bloodaxe)
2000 Colette Bryce - The Heel of Bernadette (Picador)
1999 Cliff Yates - Henry's Clock (Smith/Doorstop)
1998 Tamar Yoseloff - Sweetheart (Slow Dancer Press)
1997 Robin Robertson - A Painted Field (Picador)
1996 Glyn Wright - Could Have Been Funny (Spike)
1995 Gwyneth Lewis - Parables & Faxes (Bloodaxe)
1994 Sue Stewart - Inventing the Fishes (Anvil)
1993 No prize awarded
1992 Susan Wicks - Singing Underwater (Faber)
1991 Mark Roper - The Hen Ark (Peterloo)
1990 Donald Atkinson - A Sleep of Drowned Fathers (Peterloo)
1989 John Lucas - Studying Grosz on the Bus (Peterloo)

Categories: Poetry Prizes

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