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Short-listed Finalists

Manchester Poetry Prize 2012: the Short-listed Finalists

Launched in 2008 under Manchester Metropolitan University’s innovative Enterprise Fellowship scheme, and spear-headed by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, the Manchester Writing Competition was designed to seek out and celebrate the best original writing while generating income for new creative and educational projects. The competition alternates annually between poetry and fiction and, since its launch, has attracted almost 7,500 entries from over 45 countries, all of which were judged anonymously to ensure the focus is entirely on the work. The winner take a cash prize of £10,000.

This year’s competition was for poetry and judged by distinguished writers Ian Duhig, Frances Leviston and Adam O’Riordan. Chair of judges O’Riordan says:

“It was an excellent year for the Manchester Poetry Prize with almost fifteen hundred entries from across the world. My fellow judges, Ian Duhig and Frances Leviston, worked extremely hard and diligently in the face of this monumental amount of reading. The final stages of judging saw the three of us at a table reading submissions aloud to one another, a truly memorable and deeply pleasurable experience, before the final shortlist of six was arrived at by unanimous decision. We look forward greatly to welcoming all the shortlisted poets to Manchester in October for a celebration of excellence in poetry and the announcement of the winner.”

The winners will be announced at a gala prize-giving ceremony at Chetham’s School of Music in the centre of Manchester on the evening of Friday 19th October – an event which forms part of the 2012 Manchester Literature Festival, featuring readings from all three judges and a poem from each of the finalists before the £10,000 prize is awarded.

To find out more and book tickets for the event call the box office on 0843 208 0500 or click here to book online.

2012 Finalist Profiles (in alphabetical order of surname):

Fiona Benson: Still Life With Red Herrings
Fiona Benson's poems have been published in a wide range of journals, including The LRB, Poetry Review and The TLS. She won an Eric Gregory Award in 2006 and a Faber New Poets Award in 2009. She has a pamphlet of six Devon-inspired poems commissioned by Wordquest Devon and Cyprus Well. Her portfolio for the MMU poetry competition is part of a sequence of poems she is developing that takes the work of Vincent Van Gogh as its stepping-off point. She lives near Exeter with her partner James Meredith and their daughter Isla. Click here to read her poems.
Jane McKie: The Boy Who Found Fear
Jane McKie lives in Scotland and is a creative writing tutor at the University of Edinburgh. Her first collection, Morocco Rococo (Cinnamon Press), was awarded the 2008 Sundial/Scottish Arts Council prize for best first book of 2007. Her other publications include When the Sun Turns Green (Polygon, 2009), and the pamphlet Garden of Bedsteads (Mariscat, 2011). She won the 2011 Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition. Click here to read her poems.
Jane McKie
Abigail Parry: The Knife Game
Abigail Parry lives in London, where she works as a toymaker and teaches English Literature. Her work has appeared in various journals, including Poetry London, The Rialto and Magma, and in the anthologies The Best British Poetry 2011 and Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam. In 2009 she completed an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College, and in 2010 received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. This year she was involved with Poetry Parnassus, during which copies of one of her poems were dropped onto London from a helicopter. She is currently working towards her first collection. Click here to read her poems.
Parry, Abigail
Chris Preddle: Misshapen
Chris Preddle has retired from libraries to a windy shoulder of the Pennines above Holmfirth in West Yorkshire. His second collection is Cattle Console Him (Waywiser, 2010); his first was Bonobos (Biscuit Publishing, 2001). He won a first prize in the Scintilla competition (2007) and second prizes at Strokestown (2012) and in the Yorkshire and Magma competitions (2011). His poems have appeared in British, Irish and American magazines. He is working on translations of Sappho. Click here to read his poems.
Anthony Rowland: The Siege of Minorca
Antony Rowland has published two collections with Salt Press: The Land of Green Ginger (2008) and I am a Magenta Stick (2012). He received an Eric Gregory award in 2000, and recorded for the national Poetry Archive in 2009. His work has been included in Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and New Poetries III (Carcanet, 2002). He lives in south Manchester, and teaches literature and creative writing at The University of Salford. Click here to read his poems.
Anthony Rowland
Emily Wills: The Breaker
Emily Wills has two collections, Diverting the Sea (2000) and Developing the Negative (2008), both published by The Rialto. Her work appears regularly in magazines and she won the 2012 Frogmore prize. She lives in Gloucestershire where she works part-time as a GP. Her website is: here. Click here to read her poems.
Wills, Emily
If you have any queries, or would like to know more about the competition, please contact James Draper, Manager of the Manchester Writing School at MMU, on +44 (0) 161 247 1787 or The Manchester Writing School will be launching the third Manchester Fiction Prize in the spring of 2013.

Judges’ accommodation provided by the Midland Hotel, Manchester.
For Hotel Reservations: phone 0845 074 0060 or click here

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