Three cheers for Warda Yassin, one of three winners for this year’s Women Poets’ Prize! Yassin is a Somali poet who grew up in Sheffield. She was also recently named Sheffield’s Poet Laureate. Her pamphlet Tea With Cardamon, a collection of poems that blend the family storytelling traditions of a home in Somalia with a childhood in a UK city, won the 2018 New Poets Prize.
The Rebecca Swift Foundation Women Poets’ Prize is a biennial award established in memory of Rebecca Swift, who was an editor, novelist, diarist, poet, and founder and director of The Literary Consultancy. The prize celebrates poetry and the empowerment of women.
Each of this year’s winners (the other two being Alisha Dietzman and Natalie Linh Bolderston) will receive £1,500 (US$1,988). They will also receive mentorship for their work alongside opportunities for performance, collaboration with prize sponsors, and child-care assistance.
The jurors for the Women Poets’ Prize praised Yassin’s work as having “a maturity and clarity that’s profound and deeply moving,” finding “much to admire in these poems which feel vivid, fresh and passionately engaged, with a lyrical grace and dazzling image-making.”
Congratulations, Warda Yassin! We look forward to seeing more of her work.