It has been a brilliant year for all three of the inaugural Women Poets’ Prize winners, but in particular for rising star of the literary scene Nina Mingya Powles. Not only has Nina set up a micro-press, Bitter Melon, in part inspired by her Women Poets’ Press book-binding course at City Lit, but she has also won one major literary award, and has just been shortlisted for another.
In November 2019, Nina was announced as the winner of the Nan Shepherd Prize, a new literary prize for underrepresented voices in nature writing. Nina’s submission Small Bodies of Water was praised by the judges for its lyrical and poetic writing. Nina receives a book deal with Canongate and an advance of £10,000. You can read about her win, and about the prize, here.
In June 2020, Nina was announced as one of five shortlisted poets in the running for the £5,000 Felix Dennis prize for best first collection. Magnolia 木蘭 (Nine Arches Press) sits on the shortlist alongside Nina’s Women Poets’ Prize mentor Martha Sprackland’s own collection, Citadel. We are thrilled for them both and couldn’t be prouder.