Ted Hughes Award

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The Ted Hughes Award is an annual literary prize given to a living UK poet for new work in poetry. It is awarded each spring in recognition of a work from the previous year.


The award was established in 2009 with the permission of Carol Hughes in honour of British Poet Laureate Ted Hughes.[1] Annually the members of the Poetry Society and Poetry Book Society recommend a living UK poet who has completed the newest and most innovative work that year, "highlighting outstanding contributions made by poets to our cultural life." The award seeks to celebrate new work that may fall beyond the conventional realms of poetry, embracing mediums such as music, dance and theatre. [2] The £5,000 prize funded from the annual honorarium that Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy receives as Laureate from The Queen.[3][4]


Ted Hughes Award winners[5]
Year Judges Author Title Result Ref.
2009 Alice Oswald with etchings by Jessica Greenman Weeds and Wildflowers Winner [2][6]
Chris Agee Next To Nothing Shortlist
Dannie Abse New Selected Poems 1949-2009: Anniversary Collection Shortlist
John Glenday Grain Shortlist
Paul Farley Field Recordings: BBC Poems (1998-2008) Shortlist
Jackie Kay The Maw Broon Monologues Shortlist [6]
Andrew Motion The Cinder Path Shortlist [6]
2010 Kaite O’Reilly The Persians[a] Winner [7][8]
Martin Figura Whistle Shortlist [8]
Christopher Reid Song of Lunch[b] Shortlist [8]
David Swann with wood-cuts by Clare Dunne The Privilege of Rain[c] Shortlist [8]
Katharine Towers The Floating Man Shortlist [8]
2011 Lavinia Greenlaw Audio Obscura Winner [9][10]
Simon Armitage Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster Shortlist [10]
Julia Copus Ghost Lines Shortlist [10]
Robert Crawford Simonides Shortlist [10]
Andrew Motion Laurels and Donkeys Shortlist [10]
Christopher Reid Airs and Ditties of No Man’s Land Shortlist [10]
2012 Kae Tempest Brand New Ancients Winner [11][12][13]
Colette Bryce Ballasting the Ark Shortlist [14]
Roy Fisher Locklines Shortlist [14]
Ruth Padel The Mara Crossing Shortlist [14]
Mario Petrucci Tales from the Bridge Shortlist [14]
Denise Riley A Part Song Shortlist [14]
Tamar Yoseloff Formerly Shortlist [14]
2013 Maggie Sawkins Zones of Avoidance[d] Winner [15]
Steve Ely Oswald’s Book of Hours Shortlist [15]
Chris McCabe Pharmapoetica Shortlist [15]
Hannah Silva Total Man Shortlist [15]
Zoë Skoulding The Museum of Disappearing Sounds Shortlist [15]
2014 Sir Andrew Motion Coming Home[e] Winner [16][17]
Patience Agbabi Telling Tales Shortlist [18]
Imtiaz Dharker Over the Moon Shortlist [18]
Carrie Etter Imagined Sons Shortlist [18]
Alice Oswald Tithonus Shortlist [18]
2015 David Morley The Invisible Gift: Selected Poems Winner [19]
Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi and Sarah Maguire He Tells Tales of Meroe Shortlist
Chris Beckett Sketches from the Poem Road Shortlist
Elizabeth Burns Clay Shortlist
Kate Clanchy We Are Writing a Poem about Home Shortlist
Carole Satyamurti Mahabharata: A Modern Retelling Shortlist
2016 Hollie McNish Nobody Told Me Winner [20][21]
Will Eaves The Inevitable Gift Shop Shortlist [22]
Salena Godden LIVEwire Shortlist [22]
Melissa Lee-Houghton Sunshine Shortlist [22]
Harry Man Finders Keepers Shortlist [22]
Hollie McNish Nobody Told Me Shortlist [22]
Caroline Smith The Immigration Handbook Shortlist [22]
2017 Jay Bernard Surge: Side A Winner [23][24][25]
Caroline Bird In These Days of Prohibition Shortlist
Kayo Chingonyi Chingonyi for Kumukanda Shortlist
Inua Ellams #Afterhours Shortlist
Matthew Francis The Mabinogi Shortlist
Antony Owen The Nagasaki Elder Shortlist
Greta Stoddart Who’s There? Shortlist
2018 Judges: Raymond Antrobus The Perseverance Winner [26]
Tishani Doshi Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods Shortlist
Roy McFarlane The Healing Next Time Shortlist
Susan Richardson Words the Turtle Taught Me Shortlist
Hannah Sullivan Three Poems Shortlist


  1. ^ The Persians is a site specific retelling of Aeschylus’ play by the same name first produced in 472 BCE.
  2. ^ For Song of Lunch, Reid worked with director Niall MacCormick to adapt his narrative poem The Song of Lunch into a 50-minute BBC2 film.
  3. ^ The Privilege of Rain is a collection compiled following a year as Writer in Residence at HM Prison Nottingham.
  4. ^ Zones of Avoidance is a live production featuring multimedia written and performed by Sawkins and directed by Mark Hewitt
  5. ^ The Coming Home radio programme featured poetry by Motion based on recordings he made of British soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


  1. ^ Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry History. Archived 19 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b "The Blagger's Guide To...The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry". The Independent. 13 March 2011. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  3. ^ Ted Hughes Award, hosted by the Poetry Society Archived 26 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Website of the British Monarchy, "New poetry award announced", 9 July 2009
  5. ^ "Ted Hughes Award". The Poetry Society. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  6. ^ a b c "Awards: Ted Hughes". Shelf Awareness. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  7. ^ "Ceredigion poet Kaite O'Reilly wins Ted Hughes Award". BBC News. 25 March 2011.
  8. ^ a b c d e "The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry: Kaite O'Reilly is announced the winner". The Poetry Society. 2011. Archived from the original on 26 April 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  9. ^ Flood, Alison (30 March 2012). "Lavinia Greenlaw wins Ted Hughes award 2011 for new work in poetry". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry Winner: Lavinia Greenlaw for Audio Obscura". The Poetry Society. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  11. ^ Armitstead, Claire (27 March 2013). "Kate Tempest wins Ted Hughes poetry prize for 'spoken story'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  12. ^ "Awards: Ted Hughes Innovation in Poetry". Shelf Awareness . 28 March 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  13. ^ "Judges Maura Dooley, Ian Duhig and Cornelia Parker have presented the 2012 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry to Kate Tempest for Brand New Ancients!". The Poetry Society. 3 June 2013. Archived from the original on 13 June 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry Shortlist". The Poetry Society. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  15. ^ a b c d e "Congratulations to Maggie Sawkins who has won the Ted Hughes Award for Zones of Avoidance". The Poetry Society. Archived from the original on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  16. ^ Brown, Mark (2 April 2015). "Andrew Motion wins Ted Hughes award for poetry work about returning soldiers". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Awards: Hugo Nominations; Ted Hughes Winner". Shelf Awareness . 6 April 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  18. ^ a b c d "Awards: Blue Peter; Kitschies; Ted Hughes". Shelf Awareness. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  19. ^ "Awards: PEN Hessell-Tiltman History; Ted Hughes Poetry". Shelf Awareness. 4 April 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  20. ^ "Awards: Ted Hughes; RSL Encore". Shelf Awareness. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  21. ^ "Ted Hughes Award". Poetry Society. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  22. ^ a b c d e f "Awards: IACP Cookbook Winners; Ted Hughes Poetry Shortlist". Shelf Awareness. 13 March 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  23. ^ "Awards: Indies Choice/E.B. White; Bookstore, Rep of the Year; Ted Hughes Poetry". Shelf Awareness. 29 March 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  24. ^ "Jay Bernard wins Ted Hughes new poetry award". BBC News Online. BBC. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  25. ^ Lea, Richard (28 March 2018). "Jay Bernard's 'personal and brave' poetry wins Ted Hughes award". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  26. ^ "Awards: Ted Hughes Poetry Winner". Shelf Awareness. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2023.

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