Warda Yassin is one of the three winners of the Women Poets’ Prize 2020 announced in London on November 17, 2020. The other two were Alisha Dietzman and Natalie Linh Bolderston.
The Rebecca Swift Foundation was set up in memory of Rebecca Swift the editor, novelist, diarist, poet, and founder and director of The Literary Consultancy. The Foundation provides support and creative professional development opportunities to women poets through the delivery of its biennial Women Poets’ Prize. The Prize, which is free to enter, aims to maximise vital creative space for women poets within a supported environment. The first winners, named in 2018, were Claire Collison, Nina Mingya Powles, and Anita Pati.
The longlist for the award judged by Malika Booker, Liz Berry, and Pascale Petit this year was announced on September 21 before the shortlist was revealed on October 23. The winners for 2020 are Warda Yassin, Alisha Dietzman, and Natalie Linh Bolderston.
Yassin is a Somali poet born in the UK is a secondary school teacher in Sheffield who in October became that county’s poet laureate.
Jurors praised Yassin’s work as having “a maturity and clarity that’s profound and deeply moving. We found so much to admire in these poems which feel vivid, fresh, and passionately engaged, with a lyrical grace and dazzling image-making. This is a poet we’d love to see blossom.”
The winners receive a package including a £1,500 cash bursary, a poetry mentor, pastoral coaching, and various creative and collaborative opportunities.