Two poets share £10,000 Manchester Writing Competition prize
Two poets, Mona Arshi and Michael Hudson, have shared the £10,000 poetry prize in the Manchester Writing Competition this year.
Mona Arshi, who was born to Punjabi Sikh parents and grew up in west London, initially trained as a lawyer and worked for the human rights organisation Liberty. She began writing poetry in 2008 and received a masters in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, won the 2012 Magma poetry competition and was runner-up in the Troubadour last year. Her debut collection Small Hands will be published in 2015 by Pavilion Poetry, part of the Liverpool University Press. She said: “it is a really special competition because you don’t just send in one poem – I sent in five poems. It gives you a real range and opportunity to show them a cross-section of your work and they liked it enough and that has given me such a boost to my confidence.”
Michael lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana and works at the Allen County public library's genealogy centre. He won the 2009 River Styx international poetry contest, the Madison Review’s 2009 Phyllis Smart Young prize, and the 2010 and 2013 New Ohio Review prize for poetry. His poems have twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He said: “I am feeling quite bedazzled at the moment, and in the throes of some really embarrassing Anglophila. I may even give soccer another chance (I already love Philip Larkin).”
The Manchester Writing Competition is run by the Manchester Writing School, part of Manchester Metropolitan University, and the prizegiving ceremony was part of the Manchester literature festival. The poetry judges were Adam O'Riordan, Adam Horovitz and Clare Pollard. You can find the winning poetry submissions on the Manchester Writing Competition website