The Poetry Book Society is delighted to announce the winners of our PBS Student Poetry Prize, judged by the Faber poet Sam Buchan Watts. The 3 main prize winners were selected from 100 entries worldwide and will receive monetary prizes as well as a free annual PBS Charter membership consisting of 20 poetry books and 4 PBS Bulletin magazines. Members can read the winning poems and the judge's full commentary in our Summer Bulletin in May. We'll also be featuring the winning poems and more insider info on our website over the next few days, so watch this space.
The 2017 Student Poetry Prize Winners are:
1ST PRIZE - SCATTERING - JAY G YING
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH (MEDICINE)
2ND PRIZE - AGARBATTI -ALYCIA PIRMOHAMED
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH (CREATIVE WRITING)
3RD PRIZE - THE CIVIC SINKING SOCIETY - ILA COLLEY
UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH (ARCHITECTURE)
3 HIGHLY COMMENDED POEMS
WENDY MIN JI CHOI - FISH MARKET - UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
MARIAH WHELAN - VIADUCT- UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
OLIVER TONG - LEVIATHAN - ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY
The calibre of entries to our competition was outstanding and we have three very worthy winners and highly commended poets. The PBS is committed to the promotion of emerging poets and hope to one day see one of these winners and their first collection or pamphlet being reviewed within the PBS Bulletin!
- Sophie O'Neill, PBS Director
I am obviously delighted to be one of the winners... I really appreciate the PBS’s mission to champion contemporary poetry, having been a keen follower of the TS Eliot Prize and the New Generation series. I think that the Student Poetry Prize is especially rewarding because it works to help young poets early on in their careers. As a student it is exciting to see this level of support offered. I find poetry often thrives within student communities, and I think this prize does well to recognise the importance of engaging and inspiring young writers across the country. - Jay G Ying, 1st Prize winning poet.
JAY G YING currently studies medicine at the University of Edinburgh. His prose-poetry has appeared in The Adroit Journal, where he now works as a prose reader, and selected for Umbrellas of Edinburgh: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the Scotland’s Capital City in 2016. He has previously lived in Hong Kong, the Netherlands and the US.
ALYCIA PIRMOHAMED is a Canadian-born poet living in Scotland. She is a Ph.D. student at the University of Edinburgh, where she is studying poetry by second-generation immigrant writers. Her own writing is an exploration of what it means to be the daughter of immigrants, and grapples with language loss, cultural identity, and displacement. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, and was selected for the 2018 Best New British and Irish Poets anthology. Alycia received an MFA from the University of Oregon.
ILA COLLEY is an undergraduate student of Architecture at the University of Edinburgh. Recently her poetry has been published in Butcher’s Dog and hotdog. Not so recently she was a two-time winner of the Foyle Young Poets award. That had nothing to do with dogs. She is also a Writing Squad graduate. Her first poems were folk songs and everything was painfully elegant. Now she is fascinated by the plot holes and misunderstandings of daily life and applies herself to this heritage.
WENDY MIN JI CHOI is from Seoul, South Korea, studying Comparative Literature at University College London and working as a part-time translator while aspiring to become a poet. She has been previously shortlisted for the 2017 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition. But she spends more time performing in poetry slams and open mics around London these days.
MARIAH WHELAN is a writer and PhD student from Oxford. Her writing has appeared in journals and anthologies,including Eyewear’s Best New British and Irish Poets 2018, been shortlisted for The Bridport Prize, The Melita Hume Prize and won the AM Heath Prize. She also directs Oxford Writers’ House, a literary hub in Oxford connecting the city's communities through creative writing.
OLIVER TONG grew up in Cardiff, Wales and currently lives in Aberdeen, Scotland where he’s both studying for his MLitt in creative writing, and standing around vacantly with wading birds. He once co-managed a small tea warehouse. Blue Jam is a pivotal influence on everything that he does. He'll be appearing in Ambit magazine's upcoming April issue. He writes as O. J. Tong.
Keep a look out for the winning poems on our website soon or join the PBS to read more in our Summer Bulletin.