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PREVIOUS WINNERS

   




   












‘JUDGING THE MOTH POETRY PRIZE WAS A BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE. I’VE COME AWAY CHANGED ‒ INSPIRED AND HOPEFUL.’ WARSAN SHIRE


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As we announce the overall winner of the €6,000 prize at a special award ceremony at Poetry Ireland online on Ireland Poetry Day, 28 April – a chance to listen to the poets read their shortlisted works. Book free ticket here


THE SHORTLIST

The Unloving Ground by Aniqah Choudhri
Aniqah Choudhri is a British Muslim writer from Manchester. She’s been published in the Hippocrates Anthology for Poetry and Medicine, the Bristol Short Story Anthology and the Lightship Anthology, as well as publications like The Tribune magazine, The Independent and i-D magazine.

Judge’s comment:
‘A lush, gorgeous poem ‒ one that indulges all of the senses, a heartbreaking poem, an unrequited love poem, a poem for a home that does not want you, an entire country does not answer back.’ 
 

Hotel Petroleum by Mark Fiddes
Mark Fiddes’ second collection, Other Saints Are Available, was launched by Live Canon last year. His first, The Rainbow Factory, was published by Templar Poetry, following the success of his award-winning pamphlet The Chelsea Flower Show Massacre. He is a winner of the Oxford Brookes University International Prize, the Ruskin Prize and the Dromineer Festival Prize. He was placed third in the UK National Poetry Competition and runner-up in both the Robert Graves and the Bridport Prize. His work has been published in Poetry Review, POEM, the Irish Times and The Moth, among many other titles. He lives and works in temporary Brexile between the Middle East, Barcelona and London.

Judge’s comment:
‘Strikingly subversive, this poem is slick with wit and dystopic. An episode of “Black Mirror” in poem form.’
 

Small Moon Curve by Roz Goddard
Roz Goddard is a poet and teacher and is currently training for ordination in the Triratna Buddhist Order. She is a former poet laureate of Birmingham and has taught poetry extensively in schools, prisons, libraries and literature festivals, as well as being a mentor for The Poetry Society. Her most recent collection, Lost City, was published by The Emma Press. Previous pamphlet collections include Spill and The Sopranos Sonnets and Other Poems, which featured on BBC R3’s The Verb.
 
Judge’s comment:
‘Gentle and tender, this poem is haunting, able to explore a difficult, painful subject with exquisite grace and beauty.’ 
 

Chase Street by Heather Treseler
Heather Treseler is the author of Parturition, which received the Munster Literature Centre’s Fool for Poetry international chapbook award and the Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize from the New England Poetry Club. Her work appears in Harvard Review, PN Review, and Cincinnati Review, among other journals. Her poem ‘Wildlife’ was chosen by Spencer Reece for the W. B. Yeats Prize, and her poem ‘The Lucie Odes’ was selected for The Missouri Review’s Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize. Her criticism appears in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review and several scholarly books about contemporary poetry. She is associate professor of English at Worcester State University in Massachusetts, and a resident scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center; her work has been supported by the NEH and residencies at the Boston Athenaeum, T. S. Eliot House and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She grew up in Boston and its surrounds, and her mother’s family hails from Co. Cork.
 
Judge’s comment:
‘A beautifully written poem exploring childhood, memory and motherhood. Opening stanza is deeply powerful. A deft poem that lingers long after.’ 
 
All four shortlisted poems appear in the spring issue of The Moth, available to purchase here for just €7 (including postage anywhere in the world).

You can read the winning poems in the Irish Times online or in the spring issue of The Moth


THE FOLLOWING WERE ALSO COMMENDED:

The Wolves by Sylvie Baumgartel
Sylvie Baumgartel has published two books of poetry with FSG: PINK (2021) and SONG OF SONGS (2019). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris ReviewThe NationThe New York Review of Books, The Financial Times, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Harvard Review, Subtropics, Raritan and elsewhere. Her work is included in The Unprofessionals: New American Writing from The Paris Review (Penguin, 2015) and in The FSG Poetry Anthology (FSG, 2019). She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
 
Things I Remember by Laurie Bolger
Laurie Bolger is a London based writer & the founder of The Creative Writing Breakfast Club. Laurie has written for major brands, charities & organisations. Her first book, Box Rooms, featured at Glastonbury Festival, the Royal Albert Hall, TATE, Sky Arts & BBC platforms. Laurie’s second collection, Call Me Lady, is a collection of poems celebrating the  resilience of women, autonomy, love & her working-class Irish heritage.
 
Birthday Hike with Intervention by Simon Costello
Simon Costello’s poetry appears in Bath Magg, The Stinging Fly, The Rialto, Magma, The Irish Times, The North, Poetry Ireland Review, Rattle and The Tangerine. In 2021 he was awarded 1st prize in The Rialto Nature and Place Poetry Competition, shortlisted for The Bridport Prize, selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions and awarded a Literature Bursary Award from the Irish Arts Council. He lives in Co. Offaly in Ireland.
 
Meeting Memory on Mendocino Coast by Christina Hutchins
Christina Hutchins’ Tender the Maker won the 2015 May Swenson Award (Utah State University Press). Her other books of poetry are The Stranger Dissolves (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2011), a finalist for the Lambda Poetry Award and Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Prize, and the chapbooks Radiantly We Inhabit the Air (Robin Becker Prize, 2011) and Collecting Light (Acacia Books, 1999). Hutchins was the 2017 Dartmouth Poet in Residence at the Frost Place in Franconia, NH, where she compiled most of what will be her next book, Minor Alchemies. 
 
The Sleazebag Speaks by Jasmine Ledesma
Jasmine Ledesma is a writer based in New York. Her work has appeared in or is set to appear in places such as Crazyhorse, Rattle and [PANK] among others. Her work has been nominated for Best of The Net and twice for the Pushcart Prize. She was named a Brooklyn Poets fellow in 2021. Her novella Shrine was listed as a finalist for the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize. 
 
Lekki Toll Gate 20th Oct 2022 by Daniella C Ndubuisi-Ike
Daniella Ndubuisi-Ike is a Nigerian student living in Nashville, Tennessee. She loves dancing and hates saying goodbyes. Through her work, she is interested in exploring the body as citizen versus outsider and how it performs within black womanhood, queerness and perceived identity roles.
 
Development Hell by Othuke Umukoro
Othuke Umukoro, Nigerian poet & educator, is the winner of the 2021 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. He was highly commended in the 2021 Winchester Poetry Prize. He tweets @Othuke__Umukoro 
 
Go Mum! by Anna Woodford
Anna Woodford is the author of five poetry books and pamphlets: Changing Room (Salt, 2018), Birdhouse (Salt, 2010), Party Piece (Smith Doorstop, 2009), Trailer (Five Leaves, 2008) and The Higgins’ Honeymoon (2003). She has won an Authors’ Foundation Award, an Eric Gregory Award, a PBS recommendation, an Arvon/Jerwood apprenticeship and two Northern Writers’ Awards. Her poetry has been well reviewed in the TLS and Grazia among others. She is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Newcastle University.
 

THE JUDGE

Warsan Shire, a Somali-British writer and poet, served as the first Young Poet Laureate of London and is the youngest member of the Royal Society of Literature. Shire wrote the poetry for the visual album Lemonade and the film Black Is King in collaboration with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. She also wrote the short film Brave Girl Rising, highlighting the voices of Somali girls in Africa’s largest refugee camp. Her first full collection, Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head, will be published by Chatto & Windus this March (with a limited edition coming out with flipped eye publishing).


ABOUT THE PRIZE
The 2021 prize was judged blind by Warsan Shire. The overall winner receives €6,000, while the three remaining shortlisted poets each receive €1,000. A further €250 is given to each of the commended poets. The prize will open again in June 2022.  


Call 00 353 (0)87 2657251 or email enquiries@themothmagazine.com for more details.