Keats-Shelley Prize
2017

Prize Winners

The winners of 2017’s Keats-Shelley Prizes were announced by the Prize Chair, Baroness Floella Benjamin, at the Royal Society of Antiquaries on 24th April.

The evening was introduced by Rt Hon Matt Hancock, MP, Minister for Culture and Digital Culture, and concluded with a reading by Sir Bob Geldof of two sonnets by John Keats, On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer and To One Who Has Long Been in City Pent.

The winner of 2017’s Keats-Shelley Adult Essay Prize is Hester Styles Vickery with Keats and Consumption (£1000). A graduate of Lincoln College, Oxford, Hester plans to study an MA in Modern Literature at University College London next year.

The runner up is John Greenfield with On Jane Campion’s Bright Star: The Disputed Biographies of John Keats and Fanny Brawne (£500). John Greenfield is a Professor of English at McKendree University, Illinois.

In third place is James Tinsley with The Polar Sublime. The winner of 2017’s Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize is Cahal Dallat for Giant (£1000). Born in County Antrim, Cahal has won the Strokestown International Poetry Competition. He is currently the Causley Trust’s centenary-year musician and poet-in-residence at Cyprus Well House in Cornall. His writing has appeared in the TLS and the Guardian. His latest collection is The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff).

Second prize went to DH Maitreyabandhu, who won the Prize in 2009, with One Hundred Cloche Hats (£500).

Poetry First Prize Winner

Cahal Dallat, Giant

Poetry Second Prize Winner

DH Maitreyabandhu, One Hundred Cloche Hats

Essay Prize Winner

Hester Styles Vickery, 'Keats and Consumption'

Essay Second Prize Winner

John Greenfield, 'On Jane Campion’s ‘Bright Star’: The Disputed Biographies of John Keats and Fanny Brawne'

James Tinsley, 'The Polar Sublime'

Shortlists

Poetry Shortlist

Maria Isakova Bennett, St George’s Garden, Lime St

Rachel Burns, The Dolls

Matt Bryden, Supporting Actor

Kirsten Irving, Kase-Obake

Claire Potter, Ex-Voto

Roger Vickery, Free Tickets to a Mamet

Charlotte Walker, Projection

Jackie Wills, Veve’s Invitation

Essay Shortlist

Judges

  • Chair of Judges

    Baroness Floella Benjamin
  • Poetry Judges

    Mathew Sweeney

    The Keats-Shelley Memorial Association was deeply saddened by the death of Matthew Sweeney, the acclaimed Irish poet and since 1999 a Poetry Judge for the Keats-Shelley Prize. Read our own appreciation: here.

    Matthew was born in County Donegal. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and the London Review of Books among others. His collections include: A Dream of Maps (1981), Blue Shoes (1989), Cacti (1992), The Bridal Suite (1997), A Smell of Fish (2000), Selected Poems (2002), Black Moon (2007), The Night Post: A New Selection (2010), and Inquisition Lane (Bloodaxe Books 2015). He is the winner of many poetry awards including the Cholmondley Award, the Arts Council Award and in 2014 the Piggott Poetry Prize. He has worked as Poet in Residence at the University of East Anglia and the South Bank and elsewhere.

  • Professor Jo Shapcott

    Professor Jo Shapcott, FRSL joined us as Poet Judge in 2017. She has won numerous awards including the National Poetry Competition (twice), the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, the Forward Poetry Prize, the Cholmondeley Award, and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry (2011). She teaches on the MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.

    Her books include Poems 1988-1998 (2000, reprinted 2006) consisting of poetry from her three earlier collections: Electroplating the Baby (1988), which won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for Best First Collection, Phrase Book (1992), and My Life Asleep (1998), which won the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Collection). Together with Matthew Sweeney, she edited Emergency Kit: Poems for Strange Times (1996), an international anthology of contemporary poetry in English. Her book Tender Taxes, “her version of Rilke” was published in 2002. Her most recent collection, Of Mutability, was published in 2010 and won the Costa Book Award.

  • Essay Judges

    Professor Sharon Ruston

    Professor Sharon Ruston is a long-standing Judge of the Prize essays. She is Professor of English Literature at the University of Lancaster, having previously taught at Bangor, Keele and Salford.

    Her research specialism concerns the relations between the literature, science and medicine of the Romantic period, 1780-1820. Her first book, Shelley and Vitality (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), explored the medical and scientific contexts which inform Shelley’s concept of vitality in his major poetry. Since then, she has worked on Mary Wollstonecraft’s interest in natural history, William Godwin’s interest in mesmerism, and Humphry Davy’s writings on the sublime. These form chapters of her most recent book, Creating Romanticism: Case Studies in the Literature, Science, and Medicine of the 1790s (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Professor Ruston is currently co-editing the Collected Letters of Sir Humphry Davy and his Circle.

  • Professor Simon Bainbridge

    Professor Simon Bainbridge is a long-standing Judge of the Prize essays. He teaches and writes at the University of Lancaster.

    His main research interest is in the relationship between the writing of the Romantic period and its historical context. He is the author of Napoleon and English Romanticism (Cambridge University Press, 1995) and British Poetry and the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (Oxford University Press, 2003) and the editor of Romanticism: A Sourcebook. He has published in journals such as Romanticism, Romanticism on the Net and The Byron Journal and has written essays and entries for An Oxford Companion to The Romantic Age: British Culture 1776-1832, Romanticism: An Oxford Guide, The Blackwell Companion to European Romanticism, and The Oxford Handbook to English Literature and Theology. Among other current projects he is working on the literature and culture of mountaineering in the Romantic period.

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