Alison Thompson from Coolangatta is one of just ten writers highly commended in this year’s prestigious UK Bridport Prize poetry competition for her poem ‘Trading Armadillos’.
The poem was selected from over 5,300 entries by poetry judge Daljit Nagra who said, “Judging a poetry competition feels a communal, a social and a moral act, where we are at our best and ready to receive.” He continued; praising ‘Trading Armadillos’, saying the poem is “wonderfully surprising and transformative”.
Alison Thompson is a poet and short story writer who lives on the South Coast of NSW. She is a longstanding member of the Kitchen Table Poets, a group of Shoalhaven Poets who have been meeting for two decades. Her poems and stories have been published in journals and anthologies in Australia and overseas. She has two chapbooks published with PressPress – Slow Skipping (2008) and In A Day It Changes in 2018. She was recently long-listed for the 2018 University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize. Her website can be found at alisonthompsonpoetry.wordpress.com.au
The Bridport Prize based in Bridport, Dorset, UK is one of the most prestigious open writing competitions in the English language with categories in poetry, short stories, flash fiction (stories of 250 words or fewer) and the Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award for a first novel, named in honour of the Prize’s founder.
Established in 1973 and with over £18,000 in prize money to be won annually, the competition attracts entries from across the globe. This year over 12,000 writers from 79 countries competed for one of the 34 winner and highly commended awards.
The Bridport Prize is the flagship project of Bridport Arts Centre in Dorset and the competition raises vital funds for the Arts Centre’s work each year.
The Prize is known as a tremendous literary stepping-stone – the first step in the careers of writers such as Kate Atkinson, Tobias Hill, Kit de Waal and Helen Dunmore. The competition is open to anyone as long as the submitted work is previously unpublished.
An anthology of this year’s winning entries, including Alison’s poem, is available from the Bridport Prize website at bridportprize.org.uk
The competition for 2019 will be launched on 15 November with a closing date of 31 May 2019. Entries can be made by post or online with full information on how to apply available on the website.