We are thrilled to announce that we have nominated Sallyanne Rock’s ‘Salt & Metal‘ and Nabeela Saghir’s ‘Let Me Make You Something To Eat‘ for the Michael Marks Award for Poetry 2022.
The Michael Marks Award for Poetry was established in 2009 by the Michael Marks Charitable Trust in collaboration with the British Library. The Award is one of the only prizes in the UK celebrating the pamphlet form, and has recognised works by such esteemed poets as Carol Rumens, Richard Scott and Selima Hill. Awards are also given out to pamphlet publishers, poets writing in a Celtic language and pamphlet illustrators.
The Michael Marks Awards were created with the aim of raising the profile of the poetry pamphlet and to encourage the continuing development of the winning poets and publishers.
The poetry industry has traditionally favoured the full collection, not least because they are bound with a spine and therefore easier to market on bookshop shelves. Pamphlets have tended to be available mainly at book fairs, readings and online shops. So the introduction of this prestigious award has been an important development for the poetry community, by putting the pamphlet front and centre, and acknowledging its vital contribution to the poetry world.
A generous cash prize of £5000 is awarded alongside the fantastic opportunity to be Poet in Residence with the Harvard Alumni Association/Center for Hellenic Studies ‘Spring Break to Greece’. The winners spend two weeks between historic Nafplio, Olympia, Delphi, and Athens, visiting and learning about these sites of interest and participating in local cultural activities. This incredible prize and development opportunity demonstrates the awarding body’s commitment to the pamphlet form, enabling the development of poets and publishers to keep creating.
Publishing a full collection is sometimes seen as the ultimate validation of a poet’s work, an idea reinforced by the many awards and prizes celebrating this form. The Michael Marks Award for Poetry recognises that a pamphlet also can contain exceptional work – a viewpoint we completely agree with! Here at Fawn Press we want to nurture the voice of emerging poets and we believe that focussing on pamphlets can empower poets at earlier stages of their writing journey. We want to champion the poetry pamphlet as a brilliant and worthy art form.
As the inimitable Seamus Heaney put it, “These inspired awards recognise that the pamphlet has a fundamental importance in literary culture far exceeding anything suggested by the dictionary – “a brief publication, generally having a paper cover”. For many of the best poets now writing it was not only their first means of distribution but the first ratification of their gift.”
We wish Sallyanne and Nabeela the best of luck in this year’s awards. Shortlists are published later in the year and we will of course keep you updated with news!