Winner of Ballymaloe Poetry Prize of €10,000 announced
The winner of the Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize – one of the most valuable prizes in the world for a single unpublished poem – was announced at a special event at the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin last night.
‘I was impressed by many aspects of the poems submitted for the Ballymaloe Prize this year,’ said the judge Michael Symmons Roberts. ‘As I’d expect in a major competition, there were many accomplished, surprising and beautiful poems. What I didn’t expect was to find such impressive writing in long forms – sequences and extended narratives. This was a real delight, and some of the best of those forced their way into the final few.’
The winning poem, Lisa Bickmore’s “‘Eidolon’ is an extended meditation on separation and love and grief. Reading this poem,” Symmons Roberts commented, “feels like eavesdropping on someone trying to come to terms with distance and loneliness. It’s a finely made formal poem, but the voice remains limber and feels capable of taking you anywhere.”
Lisa Bickmore is an English professor at Salt Lake Community College in Utah. Her second collection of poems is forthcoming from Elixir Press, where it won the 2014 Antivenom Prize. The three other shortlisted poems were ‘Disco Jesus and the Wavering Virgins in Berlin, 2011’ by Jude Nutter, ‘Fantasia on a Theme by Elvis’ by Kathryn Simmonds and ‘Saratoga Passage, August 2014’ by Matt Hohner. They each received €1,000 and their poems appear in the spring issue of The Moth.
Symmons Roberts also highly commended poems by Rosie Shepperd, Maya Catherine Popa and Isabel Bermudez.
The Prize is sponsored by Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, in association with the arts & literature magazine The Moth.