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English Professor and award-winning poet edits prose poetry anthology

Posted on 26 July 2019

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​​​​​​​A Professor of English at Leeds Trinity University has co-edited a new anthology of prose poetry featuring the new Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.

Award-winning poet Professor Paul Hardwick, also known as Oz Hardwick, co-edited The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry with fellow writer and academic Anne Caldwell. It features between 60 and 65 prose poems from writers throughout the UK and aims to showcase new work from a wide diversity of writers in this genre, including both well-known poets and newcomers.

Professor Hardwick and Ms Caldwell spent a year working on the project together, for which they received financial support with an Arts Council grant. It is the first anthology in a number of years to focus upon contemporary writers in the UK, and also features poets including Helen Mort, George Szirtes and Kim Moore, as well as the new Poet Laureate.   

Professor Hardwick, who has written prose poems since his teens, said: "Prose poetry appears to be experiencing a surge of interest at present, with a number of significant anthologies and studies coincidentally appearing within a few months. The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry is unique in that it is the first anthology in a number of years to focus upon contemporary writers in the UK. And what a diverse bunch they turned out to be, with all kinds of backgrounds, and very individual takes on the form."

He added: "There are some of the most prominent poets in the country involved – we even have the Poet Laureate by default, as Simon Armitage was one of our first contributors, and accepted his appointment as Laureate while the book was in press – but also many writers who are less well known but deserve the attention."

The publication of The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry was introduced earlier this month (Saturday 13 July) at what is believed to be the UK's first ever prose poetry symposium, hosted at Leeds Trinity University. The event welcomed almost 70 delegates from around the UK and beyond including Australia, the USA and across Europe. It was an opportunity to celebrate the surge in popularity of prose poetry, as well as the publication of the anthology. 

Following the publication of the anthology, Professor Hardwick and Ms Cauldwell will be hosting several readings and workshops across the UK. They are also working together on a number of new projects which are already taking shape after the anthology's warm reception at the symposium.

The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry is available to purchase for £10​.99​.​