MSt tutor Rebecca Abrams’ “Jewish Treasures from Oxford Libraries” long-listed for the 2021 Wingate Literary Prize

MSt tutor Rebecca Abrams’ Jewish Treasures from Oxford Libraries, published in 2020 and  co-edited with Cesar Merchan-Hamann, has been long-listed for the 2021 Wingate Literary Prize.    

From the Wingate Prize announcement:

“The 2021 Wingate Literary Prize long list explores a diverse range of important themes this year, including the Russian Empire, the Holocaust and climate change.

Now in its 44th year, the annual prize, worth £4,000 and run in association with JW3, is awarded to the best book, fiction or non-fiction, to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader…

The Wingate Prize short list will be announced late January and the winner will be announced at the end of February.”


MSt alumna Laura Theis’ “How to Extricate Yourself” published by Dempsey & Windle

MSt alumna Laura Theis collecttion “How to Extricate Yourself” has been published by Dempsey & Windle

From the announcement:

“What would it be like to be a writer in residence on the moon? Or to wake up with hair made out of spiders? To move in with a dragon? Or to raise a demon baby by accident? Simultaneously dark and funny, these poems let the reader escape into the realm of the imagination and the fantastical. Unafraid of asking ‘what if…’, the poems’ various speakers and narrative voices try to make sense of their narrowing world and sleepless nights through self-deception and make-believe, spells and incarnations, peeks into the possibilities of other worlds and lives.

Besides being awarded the 2020 Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize, the poems in this collection have won or been shortlisted for the Acumen Poetry Prize, the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize, three consecutive Live Canon International Poetry Awards, the Hammond House Award, the Yeovil Prize, the Wirral Poetry Festival Competition, the Blue Nib Chapbook Contest, the Yaffle Prize, the Charroux Prize andthe Oxford Brookes Poetry Prize judged by Jackie Kay

Praise for ‘how to extricate yourself’:

How to Extricate Yourselfcombines vivid narrative, seriousness and delight in language that moves easily between wry imaginative energy and resonant pathos. This is a debut collection of admirable wit and invention, and introduces Laura Theis – already a successful fiction writer – as a poet of distinctive new voice.”

–               Jane Draycott

“No one else does weird and tender quite like Laura Theis.”

– Kiran Millwood Hargrave

“Grabbed me not just for the overall quality from poem to poem but also from line to line… I could have read these poems all night and still have read some more.”

– Paul McGrane, who selected Laura Theis as the winner of the 2020 Brian Dempsey Memorial Pamphlet Prize

“A witty and playful collection from a gifted poet who blends delicate lyricism with candid confession.  An engaging and fresh new voice.” 

– Anna Saunders, 2020 Wirral Prize Judge & CEO of Cheltenham Poetry Festival

“In these poems which sing and see from a distance, Laura Theis is in complete control of tone – never forced or rushed, convinced the gentlemen callers will leave having not detected the fire in the grates of the witchy girls…. It is a book of entrances and exits – the astronaut’s wife, a lover on the moon – reports from a world where jellyfish are admirable, space and distance present both in the barely punctuated lines and between partner and partner. These poems are resourceful and magical, tracing infinity ‘the way bees love to eat / honey but also make honey.’

– Matt Bryden, Judge of the 2020 Charroux Prize

“A sparkling debut…a small treasure box filled with surprising, unusual jewels.”

– Christina HouenPerfect Words

The book is available directly from the publisher through Waterstones / Amazon )

MSt tutor Jamie Mckendrick’s “The Years” shortlisted for the 2020 Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets

MSt tutor Jamie Mckendrick’s “The Years” has been shortlisted for the 2020 Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets.

From the announcement

“The judges admired these poems for their formal accomplishment, quiet erudition, variety of theme and engaging introspection.  But, beyond that, it was the complex and various interplay between the poems and McKendrick’s own ink and watercolour pictures that marked this pamphlet out as being a truly singular achievement. Reader and viewer become caught up in the profound similarities and differences there are between poem and picture; they also become transfixed by subtle, sometimes sombre, hued world the two of them create.”

You can read about the shortlist here.

MSt alumnus David Shook’s “Barcode Scanner” wins ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival’s Prize for the Best Film for Tolerance

MSt alumnus David Shook’s Barcode Scanner has won the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival’s Prize for the Best Film for Tolerance.

From the announcement:

“The Prize for the Best Film for Tolerance, donated by the Federal Foreign Ministry, has been awarded to the film A Barcode Scanner (IRQ 2019) by David Shook, based on the poem of the same name by Zêdan Xelef. From the jury citation: “The poetic voice and the cinematographical eye become mediums against oppression and despair by simply simply and clearly scanning what is there, repeatedly and impeccably, like the barcodes of a condensed everyday life experience.”

MSt alumna MJ Holmes’s novella “Don’t Tell the Bees” published by Ad Hoc Fiction

MSt alumna MJ Holmes’s novella Don’t Tell the Bees , which won the Bath Novella-in-Flash Award has been published by Ad Hoc Fiction.

The judge of the Bath Novella-in-Flash Award , Michael Loveday, said:

WThe winning novella is a story of a young girl (called No-more) and a village community in France, around the time of the Second World War. It’s full of nostalgia for old rural ways, and, in passing, a nuanced description of the impact of industrial progress. There’s a charming fairy-tale quality, a satisfying come-uppance for a villainous character, and every page positively oozes with fondness for its characters. The novella adopts a classic novella-in-flash form, with each chapter a self-contained world of its own, a distinct moment in time, but its absolute originality is expressed in the characters’ eccentric qualities, the richly textured language, the blending of history with fable, and the way that its fragments collectively evoke the whole story of a village and way of life. Amongst a raft of brilliant manuscripts, this was the story I found myself most eagerly returning to, cherishing each time the writer’s deft skills. “

You can read about it and order it from Ad Hoc

MSt alumna M J Holmes’ pamphlet “Dihedral” published by Live Canon

MSt alumna M J Holmes’ pamphlet “Dihedral” has been published by Live Canon.

From the announcement:

“Joint winner of the 2020 Live Canon Pamphlet Competition.

A Forward Prize nominee and Hawthornden Fellow, Mary-Jane has won the Bridport Poetry prize, the Bath Novella-in-Flash Prize, the Martin Starkie Poetry Prize, Dromineer Fiction Prize, the Reflex Fiction and Mslexia Flash prize as well as the Bedford Poetry competition. In 2020, she was shortlisted for the Beverley International Prize for Literature and longlisted for the UK National Poetry Prize. Mary-Jane’s debut poetry collection Heliotrope with Matches and Magnifying Glass is published by Pindrop Press.

Her work appears in anthologies including Best Small Fictions 2014/16/18 and Best Microfictions 2020 and in a variety of publications including Magma, Mslexia, Modern Poetry in Translation, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, The Lonely Crowd, and Prole. “

You can read about it and order it here.