Simon Armitage wins Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize

Simon Armitage wins Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize

<p>Simon Armitage has won the Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize, for his poem, &#39;The Present&#39;, which was inspired by a fruitless search for icicles in the winter of 2008/09. </p><p>The prize aims to honour the Romantic poets, and Faber-published Armitage said: &quot;I&rsquo;m not sure it&rsquo;s possible to be a Romantic poet any more, but more and more poets seem to be turning their eye towards nature. It&rsquo;s hard to explain, but speaking personally, if the birds and the moors and the trees and the ice disappeared, then I would have no interest in writing about a city street, and probably no purpose as a poet.&quot; Armitage was awarded a CBE for services to poetry this year. </p><p>Harriet Cullen, Keats-Shelley Memorial Association chairman, said: &quot;It is all honour to Keats and Shelley that leading poets of today have felt motivated to compete in a competition in their memory, and it certainly puts the other winners in exceptional &shy;company.&quot; </p><p>Second prize went to Gill Learner for &quot;The Power of Ice&quot;, with third prize going to Pat Winslow for &quot;The Theatre at the End of the Pier&quot;. The poetry judging panel was headed by Jack Mapanje, a Malawian poet and scholar. </p><p>Doctoral student Andrew Lacey won this year&rsquo;s essay prize for &quot;Wings of Poesy: Keats&rsquo; Birds&quot;. <br />Winners and runners-up receive prizes worth &pound;3,000, and publication in the Keats-Shelley Review.</p><p><em>Picture credit - Jonty Wilde </em></p>