23 Apr 2012
The Sheffield Assay Office hosted the Steel City’s 25th annual Poetry Prize at the company’s office based in Hillsborough, Sheffield on Thursday 12th April 2012.
First prize winner Leah Fleetwood for her poem ‘Wet Monday’, was presented with a bespoke silver engraved bookmark, designed and produced by the Assay Office, as well as a £100 cheque from the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Arts. Runners-up Jennifer Howard for ‘Apple Jelly’ (2nd Prize) and Lesley Perrin (3rd) for ‘Meeting’, were presented with book tokens. There were Highly Commended poems from Joseph Caldwell and Beverley Nadin, who also won book tokens.
The Sheffield Poetry Prize, sponsored by Sheffield University, is a section of the prestigious Poetry Business Competition, and was judged this year by the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.
Leah Fleetwood, who took first prize in the competition, said: “I was drawn to the competition when I knew Carol Ann Duffy was judging, as I am a fan and greatly admire her work for children. I was amazed and delighted to actually win, and am now curious to know why she chose my poem!”
The evening also saw readings from each poet, along with one from last year’s winner, James Caruth , as selected by Simon Armitage.
Professor Adam Piette, of the University of Sheffield’s School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, commented: “The University of Sheffield is pleased to partner the Assay Office and the Poetry Business in this celebratory 25th year. The entries were of such a high standard, I'm calling this the 'sterling' quality prize!”
Ann Sansom, Director of The Poetry Business, added: “This has been a great collaboration and a very special celebration. We are delighted that we attracted such a high standard of poems. Sheffield can be proud of the multitude of writing talent in the city.”
Emma Paragreen, Curator and Librarian at the Sheffield Assay Office, said: “It was a real honour for The Poetry Business to involve us in their historic 25th anniversary celebrations.
“We have diversified into a wide range of areas here at the Assay Office, but have never been involved in anything like this so it was a great opportunity for us to support the arts in Sheffield.”
From left to right Jennifer Howard (2nd Place), Leah Fleetwood (1st Place). Lesley Perrin (3rd Place)