Event 15

Wales Poetry Award Prizegiving and Poetry Wales Party

Saturday 15 February 2020

Location: Marble Hall


Now celebrating its 55th year, Poetry Wales is the premier magazine for new poetry in Wales. In this glittering event in the Art Deco Marble Hall of the Temple of Peace, Katherine Stansfield will announce the winners of the inaugural Wales Poetry Award, followed by readings from a range of exciting writers from the new edition of the magazine, with new Editor Jonathan Edwards and special guests including Marvin ThompsonEmily Cotterill and Zoë Brigley. With music and poetry from Phil Jones of Dusty Cut. 

£5 standard, £3 students, Free to current and new subscribers and prizewinners. 

Current subscription to Poetry Wales £27 


Katherine Stansfield

Katherine Stansfield grew up on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall and now lives in Cardiff. Her poems have appeared in The North, Magma, Poetry Wales, The Interpreter’s House, And Other Poems, Butcher’s Dog, and as ‘Poem of the Week’ in The Guardian. Seren will publish her second collection, We Could Be Anywhere By Now, in 2020; the book was supported by a bursary from Literature Wales.

She teaches for the Open University and is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. Her poetry also includes a pamphlet, All that Was Wood from her time as Poet in Residence at the initial festival venue, Cornerstone. She is also a novelist with a prize-winning debut, The Visitor, published by Parthian, a trilogy of Cornish mysteries and a further co-writing project with her partner, David Towsey, under the pen name(s) DK Fields.

On Stansfield’s first poetry collection, Playing House:

Striking imagery, strange leaps of thought, wit and menace aside, the unmistakeable thrill of Katherine Stansfield’s poetry is in the voice. It addresses the world directly, takes it personally, and comes at the reader from constantly unexpected angles, a tangible, physical thing.’

– Philip Gross

‘Tightly-wrought and multi-layered, Katherine Stansfield’s poems are a wonderful alchemy, touching on a range of experiences, each one lit with rhythm and wordplay, from the “laminated skin” of the library card to the hymn to bleach.’

– Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards was born and brought up in Crosskeys, south Wales. He has an MA in Writing from the University of Warwick, has written speeches for the Welsh Assembly Government and journalism for  The Big Issue Cymru, and worked for some years as an English teacher. He won the Terry Hetherington Award in 2010, was awarded a Literature Wales new writer’s bursary in 2011, and in 2012 won prizes in the Cardiff International Poetry Competition and the Basil Bunting Award.

His work has appeared in a wide range of magazines, including  Poetry Review,  The North, Poetry Wales  and  New Welsh Review. His poetry collection,  My Family and Other Superheroes, (Seren)  was published in 2014 and was the winner of that year’s Costa Poetry Award. His recent collection, Gen, 2019 (Seren) was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year. He has recently been named as the new Editor of the long-established Poetry Wales magazine.  

He is a popular reader and has appeared nationwide at festivals and events.  

How fluently these poems capture the place and time we call ‘now’. This is an original voice that celebrates poetry’s essential quality: music. We can all learn as we rejoice in this collection. 

– Gillian Clarke on Gen 

Marvin Thompson

As a poet of Jamaican heritage, born and raised in north London and now working as a teacher, father of mixed-race children, living in South Wales, Marvin Thompson brings together all those passages of place and time in fresh and revealing ways.

He explores the underbelly of race and empire in uncovering and inventing stories of his father’s time in the British army. He writes with feeling for the post-industrial landscape of south Wales and wonders whether this is a place he can bring up his children–though one should never assume that any of Thompson’s poems are factually true. He uses sonnet, adapted villanelle and sestina sequences to tell utterly contemporary stories.

Thompson has a refreshing, curious and honest eye that transforms and illuminates the everyday into something special and unique, but also a convincing vision of possibility and even of the uplifting. His debut collection Road Trip (Peepal Tree) is a Poetry Book Society recommendation.

Emily Cotterill

Emily Cotterill is a Cardiff based poet originally from Alfreton, Derbyshire whose work has been variously described as, ‘neo-punk’, ‘northern soul’ and ‘fizzingly acute’.

Her debut pamphlet The Day of the Flying Ants (smith|doorstop, 2019) was a part of Carol Ann Duffy’s final Laureate’s Choice selection and explores the way that the places we live shape the people that we become and contains a celebration of the power of fast food workers. A slightly alarming proportion of her poems make some sort of reference to coal–she has no additional geological loyalties.

Zoë Brigley

Zoë Brigley Thompson is the author of three books of poetry: Hand & Skull (2019), Conquest (2012), and The Secret (2007), all published by Bloodaxe. She also has a collection of nonfiction essays, Notes from a Swing State (Parthian 2019), and edited the academic volume Feminism, Literature, and Rape Narratives (with Sorcha Gunne).

“Brigley’s sense of social justice is woven with delicacy and strength, in a voice that is neither daunted nor hectoring. She is attuned to the most subtle forms of both violence and hope, and so with often startlingly beautiful imagery can offer the reader new ways of gathering morale in disheartening times.”

– Emily Trahair

Abeer Ameer

Abeer Ameer’s poems have been published in online and print journals including Acumen, Planet, The Interpreter’s House, Tears in the Fence, Envoi, Magma, Long Poem Magazine, New Welsh Reader and Under the Radar. She is currently working on a collection of poems based on stories from Iraq and her debut collection is due to be published by Seren in 2021.

Phil Jones

Phil Jones is a writer and musician who was born in Birmingham, was a teenager in Pembrokeshire and now lives in Cardiff. He has a Creative Writing MA from Cardiff University, is a Hay Festival Writer@Work and won 3rd place in the inaugural New Welsh Writing Awards.

His debut album Hawaii was released in 2017 under the name Dusty Cut. Phil’s writing focuses on our relationships with landscapes, masculinity and family. In 2020 Phil will be part of National Theatre Wales’ Located Residencies, exploring community farming in Pembrokeshire and creating a deep map of people’s relationships to the landscape.

Sponsors and supporters

Wales Poetry Prize sponsored by Aberystywyth University.

Supported by Llenyddiaeth Cymru – Literature Wales.

Supported by Poetry Wales.

Current subscription to Poetry Wales £27