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The Melita Hume Poetry Prize is for the best first unpublished poetry collection by a poet based in Ireland or the UK, and 35 years of age or under, at time of entry.  The work must be original, and in English. 50% can have appeared previously as a pamphlet.  The prize is £1,400 and a publishing deal with Eyewear.

This year we received many impressive submissions, and our award-winning Faber poet, Emily Berry (Dear Boy, 2013, Forward winner), has made a shortlist of the best 11.  Over the next few weeks, before we announce the winner on the 7th of May, this blog will be featuring a poem by each of the shortlisted poets.  We start today with Amy Blakemore.

Amy Blakemore (pictured) was born in Deptford, London in 1991. She started writing poetry at the age of fifteen. She was named a Foyle Young Poet of the Year twice, in 2006 and 2007, and read English Language & Literature at St Edmund Hall, Oxford.

Her work has been published in a number of magazines and zines, and is featured in Bloodaxe’s Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century (2009), edited by James Byrne and Clare Pollard. A pamphlet of her poems was published by Nasty Little Press in 2012, as part of the Nasty Little Intros series. She currently lives in East London. Her work can be read at

she’s a star

remember brother
heated pools, youth dismembered
in bright colloidal silver

for lunch, honeydew melon
holding it in her hands
like a slice of daybreak

her nails bright important spikes.


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Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

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