Winners of The New Poets Prize


The 2015/16 New Poets Prize

JUDGE: Helen Mort

Imogen Cassels is from Sheffield, and is in her second year studying English at Cambridge. In 2015 she was selected as a Young Poet on the Underground. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Blackbox Manifold, Waymaking, Ambit, The Interpreter's House, and Antiphon.

The judge, Helen Mort, said of her collection:

The Fire Manifesto

'The Fire Manifesto' is full of praise-poems, poems that celebrate the detail of 'the moon reflecting on the sea', the ritual of making bread, the 'scalloped edge' of land. But the praising is never naive - many of these poems have a haunted, haunting quality too. Knowing and sorrowful, the writing is subtle, always attentive to the music of names.



Jenny Danes was born in Chelmsford in 1995 and studies at Newcastle University. She is currently spending a year living and studying in Augsburg in Germany. In 2013 she was highly commended in the Bridport Prize for poetry, and her work has appeared in magazines including Magma and Brittle Star.
The judge, Helen Mort, said of her collection:

'Gaps' is full of anthropological, elegantly-crafted poems that stand back and take a good, hard look around the room, finding a fresh language for what they see: 'darkness comes and holds me like a glove, / which, by next morning, is a fist'. Poems about moving countries, poems about love, poems about the gaps in language...every subject is treated with clear-sighted confidence.

Phoebe Stuckes studies at Goldsmiths. She has been a winner of the Foyle Young Poets award four times and is a former Barbican Young Poet. She has performed at the Southbank Centre and the Poetry Cafe, and was the Ledbury Festival young poet in residence last year. Her poetry has been published in The Cadaverine, Ink Sweat & Tears, Rising and Ambit.
The judge, Helen Mort, said of her collection: 
Gin and Tonic

There's a sense of confidence in these poems that won't let you rest. Each seems to tell you a secret and then make you complicit in it too. From compelling monologues to blues pieces, every poem is charged with a savage humour, building a world where 'getting dressed feels / like being stood up' and 'crying in cabs / could be glamorous / if I did it correctly.'

Theophilus Kwek was born in Singapore, and reads History and Politics at Merton College, Oxford, where he served as President of the Oxford University Poetry Society. He won the Jane Martin Prize in 2015, and his poems have appeared in The Interpreter’s House, The London Magazine, The Missing Slate, The Oxonian Review, The Adroit Journal, among other publications. His collection, Giving Ground, was published in Singapore in 2016.
The judge, Helen Mort, said of his collection:

The First Five Storms 

'The First Five Storms' has remarkable range and imaginative depth, from Fibonacci to Loch na Fuaiche, from the small detail of 'thawed streams like cracks in the bone' to a panorama of the whole 'lifting land'. These are poems that excavate, honour and renew.


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