Vilenica Prize/ Allama Iqbal Award / Society Of Authors Award – Poetry News Roundup June 19th

Our final poetry news of the week takes a look at three recent awards; the Vilenica Prize, the Allama Iqbal Award and the Society of Authors Award.

2020 Winner of the Vilenica Prize Announced

Mila Haugova, the Slovak poet has been announced as the winner of this year’s Vilenica Prize, which is awarded for Central European Literature. The prize is to be awarded at the end of the 35th annual Vilenica International Literary Festival which is scheduled to take place in September.

The prize is the most prestigious one and is awarded to an author or writer of Central European nationality for an outstanding contribution to essay writing or some form of literature. The winner is picked by a jury which is made up of translators, university professors and prominent writers from a range of different fields. There is a cash prize worth around €10,000, and the winner will also have their work translated into Slovene and then published for distribution.

Allama Iqbal Award Given to Zehra Nigah

Zehra Nigah, the respected Urdu poet, has been awarded the Allama Iqbal Award for her fourth collection of poetry.

The prize is awarded by the Pakistan Academy of Letters, and the book that has won is Gul Chandni.

The announcement was made at the beginning of the week when the academy awarded a total of Rs5 million in prizes, which was distributed between 21 poets and writers from all over the country. The prestigious Kamal-i-Funn award was given to Munir Ahmad Badini this year.

Nigah published her first book of poetry, the highly acclaimed Shaam Ka Pehla Tara, in 1980 when she caused something of a stir in the literary circles for all things Urdu. Both her second and third collections were also very well received. Her poetry is inspired by the topic of romance and pays careful attention to social issues. One of her poems, Jungle Ka Dastoor, is considered by many to be one of the best poems written about the urban situation in the country, which is incredibly volatile.

Society of Authors Award Won by Irish Poet

Susannah Dickey, the Irish writer and poet, has been named as one of the 2020 Society of Author’s award winners. She is one of 32 writers who will benefit from money from what is the biggest prize fund in the UK – £100,000.

Bloodthirsty for Marriage is her collection of poetry, which has been named as the winner of the Eric Gregory Award; an award that is presented for a collection of poetry written by a poet who is under the age of 30. She will receive approximately £5670.

Currently living in Belfast, Dickey is working towards her PhD in creative writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre. Next month her debut novel is due to be published.

The announcement was made via video together with the winners of the other eight awards including the newly added illustrated children’s book award which is to be called the Queen’s Knickers Award!

All the awards this year were judged during lockdown, which offered something of a challenge to the panel. The shortlists were announced at the beginning of lockdown and there will, of course, be no big awards ceremony.

You must register to comment. Log in or Register.