Maria Isakova Bennett lives and works in Liverpool. Over the past three years, her poetry has been selected by Clare Pollard as winner of the Ver Open Poetry competition, has been highly commended in the Gregory O’ Donoghue and Munster Literature Chapbook Competitions, and appeared in Eyewear’s anthology of The Best New British and Irish poets. Maria’s work has also been shortlisted in several poetry competitions including Bridport, Wigtown and Mslexia. Maria delivers readings with fellow poet Michael Brown, and runs workshops in art galleries on Merseyside.
Matt Bryden is a teacher and writer living in Somerset. He runs the Somerset Young Poets Competition and is creator of the Poetry Map, a free online teaching resource.
Rachel Burns is a poet and playwright living in Durham. Her poetry has been published widely in UK literary magazines. She won 2nd place in The Writers'& Artists' sonnet competition judged by Ruth Padel.
Kirsten Irving is a poet and freelance writer based in London. She is co-editor of the collaborative poetry press Sidekick Books, and has edited more than 10 anthologies. Her work has been published by Salt and Happenstance, translated into Russian and thrown out of a helicopter. Projects in the pipes involve crow language, erotic monsters, yokai and Battle Royale.
DH Maitreyabandhu won the 2009 Keats-Shelley Prize. His other awards include the Basil Bunting Award, and the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize. His debut collection, The Crumb Road (Bloodaxe, 2013) is a PBS Recommendation. Yarn (also with Bloodaxe) was published in autumn 2015.
Claire Potter’s first collection, Swallow (Five Islands Press, Melbourne) was shortlisted for numerous Premier’s Literary Awards in Australia and she has published two chapbooks. Her recent poems have appeared in Poetry Review Ireland and Poetry (Chicago). She is currently working on her second collection.
Charlotte Walker is a writer, translator and illustrator who grew up in Yorkshire and recently moved back there from France. She is currently a resident artist of the Arts Charity at Dean Clough, where she is producing her first book of poems. She is also completing illustrations for a book for the Causley Trust centenary celebrations in Cornwall. In 2016 she was writer and artist-in-residence at Charles Causley’s house, Cyprus Well.
Jackie Wills has published five collections of poetry; her most recent is Woman's Head as Jug (Arc, 2013). She has been a professional writer for 40 years and lives in Brighton.
The Chair of Judges is Baroness Floella Benjamin.
Poems: Matthew Sweeney & Jo Shapcott
Essays: Professor Simon Bainbridge & Professor Sharon Ruston
For more information about 2017's Judging Panel: click this link.
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