For the first time this year, The White Review Poet’s Prize was open to poets based anywhere in the world. Last month we announced a shortlist of eight poets.
Tonight, at an event at Reference Point in London, we were thrilled to announce that the £2,500 prize will go to Hasti.
The prize, run in partnership with CHEERIO, is for English-language poets who are at the crucial stage of creating their debut pamphlet or collection. The Prize was founded in 2017 with support from Jerwood Charitable Foundation. This year’s judges are Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Meena Kandasamy and Deryn Rees-Jones.
Bulley said, of the shortlist:
‘The poems of The White Review’s 2023 shortlist represent an impressively kaleidoscopic range of forms, influences, and subject matters. The judges were taken aback by each poet’s distinct willingness to take risks, to play on the page with sound and image, and the ways that each submission foreshadowed something of a larger body of work to come.’
‘We would like to thank each shortlisted poet for the opportunity to spend time with your work. We congratulate you for the incredible journey of making it here, and encourage you to continue onwards. We are excited to read more from you in the future; to read with and alongside you whenever our paths will next cross.’
And of the winner, Hasti:
‘Hasti’s poems are watchful beings that brim with tenderness, inventiveness and wit. Seemingly just outside of time, yet hyper-present and rooted in the structural realities of the world, they speak in voices both familiar and beautifully strange, so intricately crafted yet untethered to and unburdened by form. They embody a skilful balancing act that Hasti manages with luminous grace.’
‘It was a strong selection of work from which to choose, but there was unanimous agreement that Hasti’s work was beautifully made, very fresh and alive, writing to which one wanted to repeatedly return.’
Previous winners of the prize are Lucy Mercer, Charlotte Geater, Kaleem Hawa and Kandace Siobhan Walker. Last year, the prize was awarded to Fahad Al-Amoudi.