Hollie McNish wins Ted Hughes Award 2017

31 March 2017 - 10:46am

Hollie McNish wins Ted Hughes Award 2017

31 March 2017 - 10:46am

Hollie McNish’s ‘funny and serious, humane and consciousness-raising’ poetry collection, Nobody Told Me, has won the 2017 Ted Hughes Award.

The book is a revealing and deeply personal combination of poetry and diary entries, following the author through her pregnancy seven years ago, through her daughter’s birth and early years. This is poetry that reports from the ‘frontline of motherhood’. McNish said the poems were in part about addressing the ‘stigma attached to writing about things related to women in poetry’. She added: “It just shocked me how hard certain things are as soon as you become pregnant – and yet no one talks about it.”

Excerpts from Hollie McNish’s diary are one of the highlights in the much-needed new Seren anthology Writing Motherhood, which addresses the debates and debacles surrounding the issue of motherhood that have hounded women’s writing for decades. Writing Motherhood features interviews, essays, and poetry by a host of well-known writers including poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, who presented McNish with the Ted Hughes Award.

Hollie McNish beat six other shortlisted poets to the coveted £5,000 prize, including Seren poet Caroline Smith, who was in the running with her heartbreaking and timely collection, The Immigration Handbook.