British academic and Hull University lecturer , Rob Miles, is the winner of the annual Resurgence, Eco Poetry Prize.
‘Resurgence’ held its annual Poetry Prize in a prestigious award ceremony in London last Monday. It is one of the few events which credits the work of English language single-poem writers from across the globe. Founded in 2014 by Sir Andrew Motion; actress Joanna Lumley; environmentalist Peter Phelps; and former editor of Resurgence and ecologist, Satish Kumar, the competition was created to champion and celebrate the natural world and human interaction.
Rob Miles Wins the Prize for his Poem – Captivity
With several British and Irish poets receiving special praise for their entries, the top prize went to Rob Miles. The English lecturer won £5000 for his poem, ‘Captivity’. A poem which poet Jo Snapcott, the head judge , described as ‘ “a pure and concentrated poem, full of fire and detail… a compressed, taut poem of great power.” The poem is inspired by Miles witnessing a gorilla trapped in a cage.
Speaking at the event, Shapcott, went on to talk about the importance of the competition. She placed particular emphasis on how it was more important than ever for people to support nature and the environment in today’s uncertain climate, “At a moment in history when words are mauled and undermined by those in power, the Resurgence Poetry Prize stands for truth-telling; for resonant and imaginative language in the service of the fragile ecologies which surround and sustain us”.
The Importance of Resurgence Poetry Prize in a Rapacious World
Shapcott then made a reference to one, particular politician, expressing fears that progress on conservation was now going backwards. “None of us imagined this time last year that the future of our planet would look even more dire today, with the emergence of a new breed of leadership, at best casual about its duties of stewardship to the earth and, at worst, hostile and rapacious. But this is where we are and this is what makes the work of the Resurgence Trust – and the Resurgence Poetry Prize – even more important.”
Poetry to Move Us form Consumerism to Conservation
James Sainsbury, Chairman of the Resurgence Trust, had this to say, “Eco-poets show us our true place as a living, breathing, integral part of the natural world, no more or less than any other part – and this realisation, if its roots spread deeply and widely enough, may just help to move us all from consumerism to conservation – in order to save this planet and ourselves from the destruction which we are currently wreaking on all around us.”
Second prize saw Dominic Bury awarded £2000 for his poem Brothers, with the third prize, of £1000, going to Irish native Majella Kelly for her work ‘Sonnet for The Glass Blower’.
Entries for the 2017 Resurgence Poetry Prize open on 1 May. For more details, together with this year’s winning and commended poems, seewww.resurgenceprize.org
Written By Kevin Worrall and Alison Jane Reid.