We are delighted to announce that the Frogmore Prize for 2020 will be adjudicated by poet and translator Maria Jastrzębska.
Maria has published four full-length collections of poetry, most recently The True Story of Cowboy Hat and Ingénue, and two pamphlets. She co-founded Queer Writing South and South Pole and co-edited Queer in Brighton with Anthony Luvera. Her poetry featured in the British Library project ‘Poetry Between Two Worlds’ and her drama Dementia Diaries toured nationally to sell-out audiences. Maria will read all entries for the Prize.
The 33rd Frogmore Poetry Prize has been awarded to Oxford writer and painter Polly Walshe, for her poem ‘Our District’. Adjudicator John O’Donoghue comments: ‘I have read the poem over and over and find new depths and meaning in it every time. There was no poem quite like ‘Our District’ in the great sheaf of poems I read.’ Polly wins 250 guineas and a two-year subscription to The Frogmore Papers.
Runners-up were Michael Swan, for ‘We Refugees’, which ‘brings home to the reader how the legacy of oppression remains, how the feeling of contingency and uncertainty never leaves anyone who has fled war and persecution in lives of great economy and power’, and Robert Hamberger for ‘Sleeping with Uncertainty’, a sonnet exploring the uncertainty those facing a potential cancer diagnosis have to endure.
The other shortlisted poems – by Tony Hendry, Miriam Patrick, David Shields, Ben Strak, Michael Swan (again) and J S Watts – all possess the qualities O’Donoghue was looking for in his choices: ‘originality of voice, facility with the craft of poetry and felicity of expression’.
All poems will be published in the September edition of The Frogmore Papers, available post-free from The Frogmore Press, 21 Mildmay Road, Lewes BN7 1PJ for £5.