Carrie Etter has been shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for new work in poetry for her collection Imagined Sons, in which she reflects on the experiences of a birthmother who gave her son up for adoption.
Imagined Sons interweaves two kinds of poems to produce a deepening sense of a birthmother’s consciousness. In the ‘birthmother’s catechisms’, the same question—How did you let him go?, for one—evokes different answers over time, while the ‘imagined sons’ are prose poems in which the birthmother encounters her son once he’s come of age. His guises include a pilot, a criminal, even an olive. Through these two forms, Imagined Sons takes a non-confessional approach to what might otherwise be considered a confessional subject.
The Poetry Society's Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry seeks to recognise excellence in new poetry. The award acknowledges poetry that goes beyond just the page, highlighting exciting and outstanding contributions made by poets to our cultural life in 2014. This year the cultural and the everyday converge to create a thrilling shortlist.
Also making the shortlist are Patience Agbabi, Imtiaz Dharker, Andrew Motion and Alice Oswald. The winner of the £5000 will be announced on April 2nd 2015 at an event in Mayfair, London.
Established in 2009 by Poet Laureate and Vice President of the Poetry Society, Carol Ann Duffy, the £5,000 prize is funded with the annual honorarium the Poet Laureate traditionally receives from HM The Queen. The award is one of the only prizes to acknowledge the wide range of work being produced by poets – not just in books, but beyond. Previous winners of the prize include Maggie Sawkins in 2013 for Zones of Avoidance and Kate Tempest in 2012 for Brand New Ancients.