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Winner urges poets to enter prize

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By Fiona Reid
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Winner urges poets to enter prize

POETS around the world are being urged to enter the 2024 Wigtown Poetry Prizes by one of last year’s winners.

Edinburgh-based Stephanie Green was awarded the Alastair Reid Pamphlet Prize and was also shortlisted for the £1500 Wigtown International Prize.

She said: “I had always wanted to win one of the Wigtown Poetry Prizes – they are among the most prestigious in the UK and I have been entering my work ever since I came to live in Scotland.

“I really would encourage people to enter. After all, you can’t win it if you aren’t in it. Competitions are wonderful for your poetry. They force you to edit your work to within an inch of its life, make it the very best it can be. So, whether you win or not, it’s very good for your work.”

Her Wigtown winner was a collection entitled Ortelius’ Sea Monsters, which came about after a trip to Iceland where she saw the remarkable late 16th-century map of the country by Abraham Ortelius – its seas filled with huge, bizarre and ferocious creatures. These became the basis of a collection that explores a multitude of nightmares and fears, delving deep into some of the darkest corners of human experience.

The Wigtown Poetry Prizes date back to 2005 and are Scotland’s international poetry awards. They celebrate the country’s three indigenous languages – English, Gaelic and Scots.

Entries are now open until 6 May.

Explaining more and appealing for entries, prize group chair Nicholas Walker said: “The Wigtown Poetry Prizes are as much about nurturing poetry as about rewarding excellence.

“They are also here to provide a showcase for poetry in the three languages that are so much at the heart of Scottish history, culture and creativity.”

Full details at www.wigtownpoetryprize.com

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