Monday, 25 October 2010

The Michael Murphy Memorial Prize

To celebrate National Poetry Day on 8th October 2010, the English Association announced the inauguration of a new biennial prize of £500 for a distinctive first volume of poetry in English published in Britain or Ireland – in the first instance between January 2008 and June 2011.

The Prize has been established by some of his colleagues at Nottingham Trent University, in honour of the Liverpool-born poet Michael Murphy, who died of a brain tumour, aged 43, in May 2009.

Michael Murphy’s first volume of poetry, After Attila, appeared from Shoestring Press in 1998 when he was 33. Shoestring has published two subsequent collections, Elsewhere (2003) and Allotments (2008), and will bring out a posthumous Collected Poems in 2011. In 2001 Michael was awarded the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize by Poetry Review as ‘New Poet of the Year’. The intention of the present prize is to extend the same recognition to another new poet.

The adjudicators for the first award will be:

Poet and critic Deryn Rees-Jones (Michael’s widow)
Poet and literary historian Gregory Woods
Poet, translator and publisher Anthony Rudolf

I met Michael, once, briefly, many years ago, when we were both nominated for the Dearmer Prize, which he deservedly won. I remember him being so very happy and proud that night. It is terribly cruel that within the decade he would succumb to cancer. This prize is a fitting tribute to his memory and his craft.

For further details on how to have a collection considered for the prize, click here.

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