On the afternoon of Saturday 18th May, friends, family and supporters of the Rebecca Swift Foundation gathered together to mark the first anniversary of its work.
Arriving at the Free Word Centre – home to The Literary Consultancy of which Becky Swift was founder – attendees were treated to tea and cake before sitting down to readings and speeches. A warm welcome was given by current Director of TLC, Aki Schilz, followed by introductions to the three inaugural Women Poets’ Prize winners by Victoria Adukwei Bulley, the Foundation’s project manager.
The winning poets, Nina Mingya Powles, Claire Collison, and Anita Pati (pictured above, left to right), each read short selections of their work, followed by a generous sharing of new poems from Ondaatje Prize-winning poet Pascale Petit. Scattered throughout the audience were an abundance of celebrated poets in support, including Mona Ashi and Isobel Dixon, both mentors within the Women Poets’ Prize.
At the event’s closing, after many highlights from the poets, was an exciting piece of news. Announced by Becky’s partner, Cosis, and longstanding friend, Melanie Silgardo, was notice of the posthumous release of A Suitable Love Object, a collection of poems written by Becky. Scheduled for publication in May 2020, the collection will be released by Scarborough-based independent publisher, Valley Press.
On behalf of its Trustees, the Rebecca Swift Foundation extends its deep gratitude to each of the attendees for making the anniversary celebration so special. We also offer our appreciation to all who were unable to be present on the day but sent good wishes from afar.
Thank you again to each of our Partner organisations, donors and supporters, on whose generosity the impact of the Women Poets’ Prize rests. We are incredibly proud of the achievements of our three inaugural winning poets, and look forward to their continued success, along with the arrival of future winners.
All donations to the Foundation are welcomed, regardless of size, and support our mission to nurture the craft, wellbeing and creativity of women poets in the UK. To make a contribution, please click here.