Pascale Petit & Ahren Warner shortlisted for Roehampton
Pascale Petit’s seventh poetry collection Mama Amazonica has been shortlisted for the Roehampton Prize 2018, along with fellow Bloodaxe poet Ahren Warner's third collection of poems Hello. Your promise has been extracted. The prize is valued at £5,000 and the winner will be announced in May. The 2018 Prize is judged by Fiona Benson and Nathalie Teitler, and chaired by Professor David Harsent (Chair of the Roehampton Poetry Centre and winner of the 2014 TS Eliot Prize). The full shortlist of six titles can be seen here.
Pascale was filmed speaking to judge Nathalie Teitler about her 25-year obsession with the Amazon rainforest here.
Ahren Warner's Hello. Your promise has been extracted is illustrated with his own photographs:
'Ahren Warner’s new poems, some in prose, mingle with photographs. These are suggestively washed-out, they depict dilapidation, and the print quality is excellent. Warner’s verse appears to discuss this collocation of scarified surfaces – their bitty, cracked, granular noise, redolent of industrial disuse, and abuse – with the hygienic space in which art is consumed... this is poetry (it is poetry) of extraordinary poise and power.' - Vidyan Ravinthiran, The Poetry Review [on Hello. Your promise has been extracted]
A film of him reading a poem from the collection is here.
Pascale Petit's Mama Amazonica has won the Royal Society of Literature's 2018 Ondaatje Prize - this is the first time that the prize has gone to a poetry book. The prize, now in its 15th year, is an annual award of £10,000 for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, best evoking the spirit of a place. The winner was announced at a ceremony in London on Monday 14 May 2018.
Mama Amazonica is set in a psychiatric ward and in the Amazonian rainforest, an asylum for animals on the brink of extinction. The book tells the story of Pascale Petit’s mentally ill mother and the consequences of abuse, as well as celebrating the beauty of the wild, whether in the mind or the natural world. It evokes the spirit of the Peruvian Amazon, informed by two trips Pascale made to the region in 2016. Photographs she took there are included in an interview with Pascale Petit in the March 2018 issue of The Compass magazine here.
[17 May 2018]