Posted: 14 October 2010
Simon Armitage has won the Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize, for his poem, 'The Present', which was inspired by a fruitless search for icicles in the winter of 2008/09.
The prize aims to honour the Romantic poets, and Faber-published Armitage said: "I'm not sure it's possible to be a Romantic poet any more, but more and more poets seem to be turning their eye towards nature. It's hard to explain, but speaking personally, if the birds and the moors and the trees and the ice disappeared, then I would have no interest in writing about a city street, and probably no purpose as a poet." Armitage was awarded a CBE for services to poetry this year.
Harriet Cullen, Keats-Shelley Memorial Association chairman, said: "It is all honour to Keats and Shelley that leading poets of today have felt motivated to compete in a competition in their memory, and it certainly puts the other winners in exceptional company."
Second prize went to Gill Learner for "The Power of Ice", with third prize going to Pat Winslow for "The Theatre at the End of the Pier". The poetry judging panel was headed by Jack Mapanje, a Malawian poet and scholar.
Doctoral student Andrew Lacey won this year's essay prize for "Wings of Poesy: Keats' Birds". Winners and runners-up receive prizes worth £3,000, and publication in the Keats-Shelley Review.
Source: The Bookseller