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2013 Live Canon First Collection Prize

The 2013 First Collection Prize has been won by NJ Hynes. Her extraordinary first collection, The Department of Emotional Projections, will be published by the Live Canon Press, and available in all good bookshops from July. She introduces herself and the collection here:

I played with words as soon as I could speak, and was banned from my sisters' room for telling stories when they wanted to sleep. My early years were spent in one of the few racially mixed neighbourhoods in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I moved to the UK in 1995, to begin research on African artists living and working in London, and have lived and worked in London ever since. I returned to poetry in the aftermath of 9/11, and pursued it through Arvon courses, the Poetry School in London and eventually an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths in 2010.

I enjoy the challenge of formal constraints -- it's like swimming in a small, deep rock pool, or etching a world on an egg shell. The Department of Emotional Projections is both the collection title and a sonnet sequence that grew very slowly; at times, it felt like painting a series of miniatures, balancing washes of colour with details achieved by a single camel hair brush.

Mark Huband, Tim Richardson, Marcus Smith and Andrew George were all shortlisted for the award. Due to the extraordinary quality of work submitted this year, we are delighted to announce that we will also be publishing their collections throughout the year. We are thrilled to be able to support emerging poets and new work in this way and to bring the work of these five writers to wider audiences. We are also hugely grateful to the judging panel, led by poet, Glyn Maxwell, who gave their time to read so many collections with such care and diligence.

We hope to run the prize again. Details will be posted here and sent out to our mailing list.

2013 International Poetry Competition

The 2013 International Poetry Competition was won by Tessa Foley. You can see the full shortlist below. The 2013 anthology is on sale here, from Amazon.

The unique aspect to the competition is that, as part of the prize giving ceremony, the whole shortlist is performed, on stage, by actors from the Live Canon ensemble, from memory. You can see from past winners comments, on the right, that this has been a memorable experience.

The Abbott’s Pond, David Underdown
Thanks for not switching me off, Josephine Corcoran
Grammar, Bill Haugse
Zebras, Mark Hill
To Go To NuL, Mark Leech
Vespers, Becky Edwards
Girl Trees, Usha Kishore
The Astronomers, Andrew George
Vanishing Marsh, Oona Chantrell
Poet’s Corner, Mark Cooper
First Light, Mark Huband,
Bakelite Bomb Shelters, Paul Helliwell
St Valentine’s Day on the Dublin Riviera, Geraldine Clarkson
Change for Tea, Ian Williams
Love Story, Tessa Foley
Golem, David Bowe
Carn Marth, Dominic Power
Arachne’s Gift, Doreen Hinchliffe
The Cost of Living, Isabel Rogers
Daedalus Had a Wife, D.E. Oprava
John Simpsons Burka, Alexander Velky













Andrew McMillan, on winning the 2012 Live Canon International Poetry Prize:

'Winning the Live Canon competition was such a thrill and an honour! I rarely enter competitions but the chance to see an actor perform my poem on stage seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up- to win as well was just terrific! I never really thought I wrote the sort of poems that would win competitions but the prize really helped my career and the prize money came at just the right time for me!'

Tessa Foley on winning the 2013 Live Canon International Poetry Prize.

The whole Live Canon experience was rare and emotional. To hear one's poetry interpreted by a talented professional is an opportunity that every writer should have; I felt truly privileged to see my poem alongside 20 others that were each so uniquely superb.
Winning has given me a huge boost, elevating belief in my own work and I am incredibly grateful to have met such passionate and welcoming people.

BUY THE 2013 anthology here.