Sarah Wimbush wins the Mslexia/PBS Women’s Poetry Pamphlet Competition 2019

11 March 2020 - 03:36pm

Sarah Wimbush wins the Mslexia/PBS Women’s Poetry Pamphlet Competition 2019

11 March 2020 - 03:36pm

We are delighted to be publishing Sarah Wimbush’s pamphlet Bloodlines today after it was selected by Amy Wack as the winner of the Mslexia/PSB Women’s Poetry Pamphlet Competition 2019.

On hearing the news Sarah said: “It was a complete shock to hear that I’d won the Mslexia/PBS Pamphlet Competition! This particular group of poems is something I’ve been working on for years; each poem drawn from fragments of my own heritage, so it’s incredibly rewarding to have them judged as ‘good enough’ by Amy Wack, and thrilling to have them sent out into the world by Seren who have published some of my favourite poets.”

Bloodlines is an exploration of Sarah Wimbush’s own Gypsy/Traveller heritage, a journey made by piecing together fragments of distant stories and a scattered language. Along the way, we meet people who are ‘tethered to the seasons’; voices that reverberate with a sense of family and resilience, and always with that constant wonder of being part of something colourful, untamed and rare.

Judge’s comment:

“These poems are full of lively slang, near riotous episodes of family drama and a keen sense of the precarious nature of Travellers’ lives. I fell in love with the gusto, the sheer gritty texture of these poems, with their harsh monosyllables and ruthless wit. They are composed with an adroit technique, formal skill, a Chaucerian sense of exuberant action. I was also often surprised by the inventive vocabulary, a Gypsy patois that renders their often tempestuous experiences in vivid colour. This makes for entertainingly original, moving work, beautifully imagined and executed. Bravo!” – Amy Wack

Bloodlines is available now from the Seren website: £5.00


Previous winners of the Mslexia/PBS Women’s Poetry Pamphlet Competition include:

This Tilting Earth by Jane Lovel (2018), Giraffe by Bryony Littlefair (2017), Translating Mountains by Yvonne Reddick (2016), The Dogs That Chase Bicycle Wheels by Ilse Pedler (2015), The Tailor’s Three Sons and Other New York Poems by Mara Bergman (2014) and Sleeping with Rivers by Cath Drake (2013).


Find out more about Mslexia, the prize and their other competitions at

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