Kirsten Luckins is to replace Victoria Adukwei Bulley as project manager for the Women Poets’ Prize at the Rebecca Swift Foundation.
Now in its third year, the Foundation was established in 2018 in memory of editorial consultant and poet Rebecca Swift. The Women Poets’ Prize, which is run biennially, brings together an unusually diverse range of voices across the UK, many of whom are entering a prize for the first time. Last year, it attracted 734 entries from women poets across the UK. It will open again for entries in summer 2022
The new appointment comes at a critical time for the Foundation, said the organisers, as it gathers evidence from two impact evaluation reports, and makes plans for significant growth and development, including building new offers to support its applicant pool as well as the longlist, shortlist and winners.
Luckins has strategic experience from her time as artistic director of the Tees Women Poets and producer for the North of England with poetry development charity Apples & Snakes. She has a particular interest in creating spaces and opportunities for women poets.
“I’m delighted to be appointed as the next project manager for the Rebecca Swift Foundation and very excited to continue the excellent work done by Victoria Adukwei Bulley in establishing the Women Poets’ Prize,” Luckins said. “I believe it’s an important and much-needed addition to the literary landscape, and I look forward to supporting talented women poets across the country in the months to come.”
The Women Poets’ Prize currently awards three winners £1,000 each in prize money, plus a transformative year of creative and professional development opportunities through a range of industry partners including Faber and Faber, the Birmingham Royal Conservatoire, and the Poetry School. Longlisted poets also gain access to The Literary Consultancy’s digital platform "Being A Writer", which aims to help writers cultivate creative and build resilience. The Women Poets’ Prize 2020 winners are Warda Yassin, Alisha Dietzman, and Natalie Linh Bolderston.
Bulley, who occupied the role from 2018, is leaving to focus on her own writing and is working on her debut collection as part of a PhD at Royal Holloway. She said: “It has been a privilege to see the Women Poets’ Prize grow from a new initiative into a fully-fledged prize that means so much to so many. To have been a part of this is a true joy, and all the more so to know how deeply its work is rooted in care – which will undoubtedly continue in Kirsten’s brilliant hands. My highest thanks to Aki Schilz for her unflinching support, the Foundation’s trustees for their warmth and generosity, our incredible Prize partners, and to every donor and supporter.”
For more information, visit rebeccaswiftfoundation.org.