The award is for a graduating student at the University of Worcester whose work demonstrates an outstanding achievement in the writing of poetry. Eligible portfolios are shortlisted by the university, with V. Press editor and director S.A. Leavesley choosing the winner.
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2023 V. Press Prize for Poetry
V. Press is very very delighted to announce that the winner of this year's V. Press Prize for Poetry is Ella-Louise Fisher!
This year's V. Press Prize for Poetry shortlist of four manuscripts chosen by the University of Worcester was particularly strong and varied.
V. Press editor Sarah Leavesley enjoyed the range of inventive, innovative, humorous, thought-provoking and moving poems in the shortlisted selections. In addition to striking lines, images and individual poems, she was also impressed by the care and crafting in getting these poems to work together as a whole, linked by theme, form/presentation or a narrative thread.
Deciding between these manuscripts was tough, but she eventually picked ‘Robins, Feathers, Pearls’ by Ella-Louise Fisher as the winner of the V. Prize for Poetry 2023 because of the completeness of its moving relatable narrative of grief and healing. Powerful precise imagery, techniques like repetition and a range of forms are used effectively across these poems to highlight different aspects of loss and love, while also reinforcing each other and the overall narrative.
Sarah is looking forward to working with Ella-Louise on her pamphlet for publication by V. Press in 2024.
2022 V. Press Prize for Poetry
“Picking a winner from these wasn’t easy, but I eventually went with ‘Braised in wine’ by Trudi Holland. An evocative use of food throughout this manuscript both whets the reader’s appetite and explores how what we eat feeds into (nearly) every other aspect of life, including body image, self-worth and relationships with others. This is also coupled with compelling use of the second person and a mastery of striking last lines.
2021 V. Press Prize for Poetry
V. Press is very very delighted to announce the winner of the 2020 V. Press Prize for Poetry run in conjunction with the University of Worcester.
She said: “This year’s winning portfolio for the V. Press Prize for Poetry is ‘May We All Be Artefacts’ – chosen from the University of Worcester’s shortlist of five for its striking and thought-provoking imagery, focal slants and choice of words. These are poems crafted with a painter’s eye for vivid details and a poet’s ear for language, its sounds and music. The scenes brought to life feel real, relevant and resonant.”
2019 V. Press Prize for Poetry
Announcing the 2019 V. Press Prize for Poetry winner, Sarah Leavesley said: “This year’s shortlist from the University of Worcester featured five manuscripts with a delightfully varied selection of themed and focussed writing, across a variety of styles/forms including some stunning vispo.
“Kelly Williams’ ‘yngordna’ (androgny spelled backwards) is a bold and brave exploration of gender, sexuality and love within and against societal expectations. Bristling with vivid imagery, vibrant language and powerful emotions, these poems are not afraid to challenge conventional boundaries in poetry as life. The selection’s focussed theme is reinforced by a natural fluid flow in the poems’ ordering, just as the intensity of the lines is balanced by the poems’ use of line breaks and white space. A fresh and striking selection.
“I was also very struck by Miguel Guerreiro Lourenco’s ‘Writing the Truth’ – a selection of powerful poems that manages the feat of feeling imaginative yet also very real and moving, reinforced again by the choices of form and layout.”
Sarah worked with Kelly Williams on their pamphlet, Ynygordna, published at the end of April 2020. Runner-up Miguel Guerreiro Lourenco receives a selection of V. Press titles.
The inaugural 2018 prize was awarded to Margaret Adkins for her portfolio ‘Mingled Space’. Working with V. Press guest editor Ruth Stacey, Margaret's V. Press Prize for Poetry pamphlet is Mingled Space.
Announcing the 2018 V. Press Prize for Poetry winner, Sarah Leavesley said: “In ‘Mingled Space’, Margaret Adkins weaves together striking imagery, evocative speech and a variety of form and techniques to create a wide-ranging and beguiling look at family, society and life. This is a vivid selection of poems that I can see, taste, feel – a worthy winner of the inaugural V. Press Prize for Poetry.”