Helen Mort wins first collection prize with 'Division Street'
Helen Mort has won this year’s Fenton Aldeburgh first collection prize, with Division Street, it was announced at the festival on Friday.
Division Street, with its striking and famous cover photograph by the late Guardian photographer Don McPhee, from the 1984-85 miners’ strike, was also on the shortlist for the TS Eliot Prize earlier this year. Mort said: “Aldeburgh is a place I’ve always held dear – it was one of the first poetry festivals I ever went to and I fell in love with the location and atmosphere. The first time I attended, I was manning a stall on the main stage and listened to all the headline poets with a mixture of awe and exhilaration, never imagining I’d be one of them.
“And the chance to enjoy a week’s protected writing time in Aldeburgh is much needed too. After you’ve written a first book, you crave time and space to return to the things that got you writing in the first place. So the prize is not only recognition for my first book but a new start for my next project. I’m thrilled.”