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Lorna Goodison receives Windham-Campbell Prize for Poetry

Wednesday, 7 Mar 2018

No Text We're delighted to announce that Lorna Goodison, the current Poet Laureate of Jamaica, has received the $165,000 (£119,000) Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for Poetry!  The award is intended to give the recipients the freedom to write, liberated from money worries.

Goodison was praised for poetry that “draws us into a panoramic history of a woman’s life, bearing witness to female embodiment, the colonial legacy, mortality, and the sacred”.

The seven other recipients of the award include British writers Olivia Laing and Sarah Bakewell, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, a Ugandan author living in Manchester who has published one novel, US playwrights Lucas Hnath and Suzan-Lori Parks, and their compatriots novelist John Keene and poet Cathy Park Hong.

Previous winners have spoken of what the money means to them. Australian author Helen Garner, who initially left the email informing her of her win in her junk folder because she thought it was a scam, said she could “die happy” after winning, while British novelist Tessa Hadley said it “changed my writing life”.

The awards, which go to English-language writers from anywhere in the world, were set up in 2013 by the late Donald Windham, in memory of his partner of 40 years, Sandy M Campbell. “Six years on, we can now see the impact the prizes have on these writers’ lives, careers and work. The feeling is magical,” said programme director, Michael Kelleher.

Congratulations Lorna!

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