Ledbury Hellens Prize Winner/Duffy’s Football Poem – Poetry News Roundup December 6th

Today on My Poetic Side we take a look at the winner of the Ledbury Hellens Poetry Prize and the football poem written by Dame Carol Ann Duffy.

2023 Winner of the Ledbury Hellens Poetry Prize Announced

The poet Zaffar Kunial has been named as the winner of the £5,000 Ledbury Hellens Poetry Prize. This is the fourth edition of the prize, which is awarded to a second collection of poetry. Kunal’s winning collection is “England’s Green.”

During an award ceremony which took place online on Monday, all of the shortlisted poets got the opportunity to read from their works. The shortlisted poets included Kaveh Akbar, Raymond Antrobus, whose first collection won the Ted Hughes Award, the Rathbone Folio Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award, and Annemarie Ní Churreáin.

The judges felt that this year selecting a shortlist of poets had been an incredibly demanding but very rewarding experience, but that all of the books that appeared on the shortlist were ones that had immediately captured their attention. They read and reread all of the books in order to reach their final decision, which was a unanimous one.

The prize is one that looks to encourage and support those poets who are at a mid-stage in their career. In order to assess each poet’s second collection the judges also read each of their first collections in order to see how they had developed as a poet in the time between books.

The Ledbury Poetry charity works tirelessly throughout the year to create a programme of events that ends with the Ledbury Poetry Festival, which takes place in July each year. This year it is celebrating its 28th year and it is considered to be the most international and largest celebration of spoken word and poetry in Britain.

Dame Carol Ann Duffy Pens First Poem for Women’s Football

The first-ever female poet laureate of the UK, Dame Carol Ann Duffy, has written a new poem in commemoration of Women’s Football. The poem was launched as part of “WeSeeYou Network” which is a partnership with Chelsea FC and has been set up with the aim of celebrating and connecting women across all sports.

The 114-line sonnet is an ode to women at all levels of football, from the boardroom to the playing field. It is titled “We See You” and is a representation of a team talk directed at the nation. In it Duffy makes homage to a number of the players by name.

During her 10 years as the Poet Laureate of the UK, Duffy spent much of her time capturing important moments in poetry and she has recently been inspired by the events taking place in women’s football, both now and in the past, and the inspiration that the current team are to the new generation of poets who are coming forward.

A video, which features female football stars, has been used to bring the poem to life for the “WeSeeYou Network”, and this can be seen on the social media channels for Three.

The poet grew up in a family where football was very much the passion. Her brothers played for local teams and her father was an amateur manager. It was something that was always going on around her and the success of the women’s team recently and the interest it has brought to the sport was the inspiration behind her involvement in the campaign.


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