Emma’s poem Over the Tannoy is a conversation through time with her great-grandfather, a coal miner from South Yorkshire.
Emma lives in the United States and has written a number of children’s books with her mother, but writes “purely for me” poetry.
The Bridport Prize is being blind judged and this year’s poetry judge was Raymond Antrobus MBE FRSL who said it was “the toughest competition I have ever judged”.
He described Emma’s poem as “a form to inspire more writers to delve into family records. It’s a new kind of poem found, a new way of speaking to and from a lineage ”.
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Emma said: “Having submitted the poem anonymously without any indication of my name, my relationship with my mom, just the words on the page and then winning was the greatest gift I could have received. And I hope that it cured me of my impostor syndrome.
In its 49th year, the Bridport Prize has been launched and continues to help fund the Bridport Arts Center. Passionate about discovering writing talent from around the world, previous winners include novelist Kate Atkinson MBE, Kit de Waal and Deepa Anappara. Many writers launched their careers with the Bridport Award and ended up on the best sellers list.
Novelist Kate Atkinson said: “I have fond memories of the Bridport Prize. It gave me one of the first statements I could write. The story I wrote for the contest was the first time I felt I found this elusive thing – my “voice”.