The 38th Frogmore Poetry Prize will be adjudicated by writer and Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing and Transcultural Literature Graham Mort. Graham is the author of ten full-length poetry collections, most recently Black Shiver Moss (Seren, 2017) and three collections of short fiction, most recently Like Fado and Other Stories (Salt, 2021). He has also written BBC radio drama. Graham has read his work widely across the UK and overseas in South Africa, Uganda, Vietnam and China.
This year’s Prize (2023), adjudicated by Helena Nelson, was won by Lynda Plater with her poem ‘The Revd. Michael Woolf on his way to a parishioner in need’. Runners-up were Alison Binney and Christopher Horton.
The latest edition of morphrog is now live at www.morphrog.com, featuring poetry and prose by a roster of contributors from around the world. Work by familiar names – Angela Arnold, Ian Heffernan, Gordon Scapens, Gerald Seniuk, Ian C Smith, Rodney Wood – is complemented by contributions from newcomers Ben Banyard, Salvatore Difalco, Vyarka Kozareva, Massimiliano Nastri, James Owens, the pseudonymous sds and John White, whose poem ‘Picnic at St Catherine’s Guidlford’ is accompanied by a photograph of the event itself by Fred Pipes.
Number 27 is an especially varied edition, including as it does a long poem about the story of Ukraine by Canadian poet Gerald Seniuk, himself of Ukrainian heritage, Ian Heffernan’s poems inspired by the work of Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai and republication of Luigi Coppola’s poem ‘Poetry Set to Music’, now set to music! Submissions for morphrog 28 (January 2024) are now open. Send no more than six poems, accompanied by a bio note and headshot, to email@example.com
The Prize was established in 1987 with a generous endowment from André Evans in his capacity as President of the Frogmore Foundation. John Rice, then Director of the New Metropole Arts Centre in Folkestone (and also a widely published poet in his own right) was persuaded to adjudicate, conditions of entry were drafted, and we were ready to roll. There may or may not have been a good reason for the decision to award the prize money in guineas rather than pounds sterling. This may or may not have been because 25 guineas sounded more desirable as booty than 25 pounds. Whatever the grounds, once the principle was established, it became a defining feature of the Prize, though the booty has multiplied tenfold over its thirty-seven years and now stands at a more impressive 250 guineas. Not that it has ever been about anything quite as vulgar as cash, albeit cash paid in guineas. Kudos, we hoped, would be the lure, and so it ultimately proved, with increasing numbers of submissions from poets whose names were recognised and whose work encountered in publications of note (though reputation counts for little when entries are judged anonymously, as they have been since the Prize’s inauguration).
David Satherley won that first Prize back in 1987, and Laura Jenner won last year. Between them there have been a series of notable winners, with John Latham and Howard Wright both winning twice, Caroline Price three times and Emily Wills on an astonishing four occasion! In every case, the Prize was awarded by a different adjudicator on each occasion, surely testament to the skill and craft of these poets. A selection of poems shortlisted for the Prize was published in The Frogmore Poetry Prize Anthology 1987–1991 and also in Decade: Ten Years of the Frogmore Poetry Prize. The 40th anniversary of the Prize in 2026 may prove to be the moment to bring its forty deserving winners together in one volume.
The 37th Frogmore Poetry Prize (2023) will be adjudicated by poet, critic, publisher and founder of HappenStance Press Helena Nelson. Helena’s latest collection, Pearls: The Complete Mr & MrsPhilpott Poems (2022) is reviewed in the latest edition (number 100) of The Frogmore Papers. She is also the author of the acclaimed How (Not) To Get Your Poetry Published (HappenStance, 2016), a book that collects the insights and useful ideas she has gathered over her many years in poetry publishing.
morphrog 25, celebrating, as ever, ‘poetry in the extreme’, is now live at http://www.morphrog.com. This latest edition of Frogmore’s online journal includes work from Ella Walsworth-Bell, Ian Heffernan, Mark McDonnell, Heather Sager, Gordon Scapens, Ian C Smith and Rodney Wood and also features a gallery of photographs by the late Martin Kay, whose work has graced many previous editions.
morphrog now welcomes submissions of translations, short prose/flash fiction, photographs and other visual images and audio content, as well as poetry ‘in the extreme’ or otherwise. Visit www.morphrog.com for submission guidelines.
The Frogmore Press has published a companion volume to its 2012 anthology, Poems from the Old Hill. Echoes from the Old Hill, edited by Jeremy Page, brings together the work of eighteen widely-published poets resident in Lewes and will be launched at the Elephant & Castle, White Hill, Lewes, on Wednesday 1 June, 7.00 – 8.30pm (doors 6.45). All welcome, free admission. A number of contributors to the anthology will read.
Copies of Echoes from the Old Hill will be available at the launch (£10.00, cash or cheque only please), or can be purchased from Skylark in the Needlemakers or post free from The Frogmore Press at 21 Mildmay Road, Lewes BN7 1PJ (cheques payable to ‘The Frogmore Press’).
Contributors to the anthology are: John Agard, Colin Bell, Patrick Bond, Molly Chasseaud, Caroline Clark, James Flynn, Charlotte Gann, Martin Gayford, Neil Gower, Grace Nichols, Jeremy Page, Rachel Playforth, Ann Segrave, Catherine Smith, Peter Stewart, Janet Sutherland, Chris Sykes and Marek Urbanowicz.
The Frogmore Press has today published a new anthology of work by poets resident in Lewes: Echoes from the Old Hill, edited by Jeremy Page.
A companion volume to Poems from the Old Hill (Frogmore Press, 2012), it features work from eighteen widely published poets including John Agard, Grace Nichols, Catherine Smith and Janet Sutherland, and will be launched at the Elephant and Castle, White Hill, Lewes, on Wednesday 1 June 2022, 7pm (free, no booking necessary, all welcome).
The arresting cover image of the chalk cliff overlooking the river and railwayland is by local artist Neil Gower.
Copies of the book (£10.00 post free) are available from: The Frogmore Press, 21 Mildmay Road, Lewes BN7 1PJ; or can be purchased locally from Skylark in the Needlemakers.
This 24th edition includes work from the usual eclectic mix of writers: Joe Balaz, who writes in Hawaiian Island Pidgin and American English; Ian Corcos and Mark Czanik, both currently in transit and on their way somewhere; Chinese mystic, poet and philosopher Yuan Hongri, translated by Yuanbing Zhang, resident of Shandong Province, China; Oversteps authors Jenny Hockey (Going to Bed with the Moon) and David Olsen (After Hopperand Lange); Calvin Liu, ethnic Chinese academic, resident in London; Pauline Rowe, winner of the 2021 Saboteur Award for best poetry pamphlet with The Weight of Snow (Maytree Press); and Ian C Smith, who writes in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia, and Flinders Island, Tasmania.
Morphrog 24 is dedicated to Martin Kay, who died suddenly and tragically in November and whose name will be familiar to readers of morphrog from the many striking photographs he contributed to previous editions.
The 98th edition of The Frogmore Papers has now been published and is available post free from The Frogmore Press (£5.00).
This issue, with a stunning cover by Ukrainian artist Marysya Rudska, includes new poetry from John Freeman, Stuart Henson and Wendy Klein, prose from Ian Inglis and Henry Woolf and artwork from Lydia McDonnell, as well as all the poems shortlisted for the 2021 Frogmore Prize by adjudicator Clare Best, which was won by Sussex-based Californian Margaret Wilmot. Runners-up were Stephen Keeler (Ullapool) and Mike Barlow (Lancaster).
The other shortlisted poets were Katie Colombus, Cróna Gallagher, Marion Hobday, Vanessa Lampert, Nick Pearson and Anne Stewart.
Subscriptions to the Papers are still £10.00 for one year (2 issues) and £15.00 for two years (4 issues). Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details of how to pay by BACS or PayPal, or send a cheque in the old fashioned way payable to ‘The Frogmore Press’ at 21 Mildmay Road, Lewes BN7 1PJ.
morphrog has always been ‘the frog that morphed’. We have tried to keep each issue fresh by keeping things in a state of flux, changing the format regularly, mixing images and poetry, creating synaesthetic content that breaks down formal barriers. Now we are morphing again. Our focus is still on the poetry, but we also welcome short stories, prose poems, audio-visual content, images and anything in between.
As morphrog 22 went to press, the UK announced a third period of ‘lockdown’ in the face of a new variant of the Covid-19 virus. Not a great start to 2021, but a timely reminder that change is a law of nature! Everything — to paraphrase Heraclitus — is in a state of flow. Let’s hope things change for the better as 2021 unfolds.
morphrog 23includes contributions from Jane Angué, Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, Daniel Bennett, Joseph Eastell, Alexandra Fössinger, Ian Heffernan, Jenny Hockey, Yuan Hongri, Martin Kay, Marian Kilcoyne, Angela Kirby, Manu Mangattu, Guy Martin, Anne-Marie O’Brien, Aaron Rice, Ian C Smith, D J Tyrer and J S Watts, and is live at: http://www.morphrog.com
morphrog is an online journal edited by Jeremy Page and Peter Stewart publishing ‘poetry – and now also prose – in the extreme’. It appears twice a year, in January and July.