Chuffed to win the Mslexia/Seren poetry prize

Exciting news…. I won the Mslexia/Seren poetry pamphlet prize and my mini collection ‘Sleeping with Rivers’ will be out around March 2014.

Huge thanks to my wonderful mentor Mimi Khalvati and Arts Council England – a massive help in honing my poems. It’s very exciting to have such a fantastic publisher with an esteemed list.

Here’s some lovely things that judge and Seren editor Amy Wack had to say:

The standard was, if anything, even higher than last year. The manuscript that kept sifting to the top, Sleeping with Rivers by Cath Drake, is simply full of gorgeous poems. Drake has a tendency to a longer line, a discursive manner, a narrative depth. I started to love these poems from the very first line of the first poem, ‘Every morning she wakes up with rivers…’  Drake’s tone is beautifully sensitive to the rhythms of language: knows when to pull back, when to unfurl startling imagery. There are artful poems about a childhood in Australia, where an ‘eccentric year-nine social studies teacher’ dares whisper about the native peoples and their mistreatment by the ‘brave men in sailing ships’. Quite a few of the poems involve the education of the female protagonist/poet. There is also a quietly devastating wit at work. Another teacher, a ‘spineless’ Mr Jacob, suffers a fitting destiny by devolving into a jellyfish. And there is a long, strange and hilarious poem in which a duck haunts the protagonist like persistent nightmare.

Congratulations, too, to the three highly commended entries from: Lydia Harris, NJ Hynes Conn and Marlo Bester-Sproul.

More here:

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