Finalists announced for Poetry Award

  • Ella Frears , Will Harris , Alice Hiller and Robert Herbert McClean have been selected as the finalists for the Arts Foundation Poetry Award supported by The David Collins Foundation.

    Mirroring the recent ‘renaissance’ in poetry, the award attracted the largest number of nominations from established practitioners and experts across the UK. The focus this year was poetry on the page with the four finalists incorporating inventive energy, multidisciplinary practices and the bending of forms to express their experiences and concerns.

    For Alice Hillier her quest of finding forms of language to articulate both personal and difficult experiences was highly commended by the judges, as was her desire, through this process, to contribute to the process of changing awareness around the sexual abuse of children.

    Questions of identity in relation to language and the literary tradition were prominent in Will Harris's work, a writer of mixed Anglo-Indonesian heritage whose highly individual style bordered prose and verse.

    With Ella Frears’s (pictured) her borders extend to the visual arts in which she also is active through residencies, commissions and curated events such as a recent multi-media ‘funeral’ event at Bold Tendencies (2017).

    And Robert Herbert McClean , an Irish writer and audio-visual artist whose interdisciplinary approach gives his poetry a refreshing vitality and a poetic freedom that makes it feel new and exciting.

    The panel presiding over the applications comprised of the poets Sarah Howe and Mark Waldron and journalist and editor at the FT Maria Crawford .

    All the finalists will receive £1,000 with the exception of one who will be awarded the £10,000 fellowship. This will be announced at the AFFAs (Arts Foundation Futures Awards) at the ICA on the 28th January along with the results from the four other artforms; Hip Hop Dance, Experimental Architecture, Visual Arts and Designer-Makers.

    The David Collins Foundation was set up in 2016 in memory of the late designer David Collins to honour his legacy and celebrate his love and contribution to the Arts. For 2019 their support mirrors David's personal interest in poetry both as a reader of new poets and penning his own when he had time.