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Leeds Trinity alumnus runner up in BBC Proms poetry competition

Posted on 11 September 2018

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​​Leeds Trinity University alumnus Ian Harker has been named runner up in the BBC Proms poetry competition.

The competition, which is judged annually by The Verb presenter Ian McMillan, Poetry Society Director Judith Palmer and poet Helen Mort, encourages aspiring poets to write a poem inspired by any piece of music in that year's Proms season.

Ian's poem 'Sea Interlude, Blackpool 1987' was inspired by Benjamin Brittan's Sea Interludes and was named runner up in the age 19 plus category.

Ian said: "I'm honoured to have done so well in a prestigious national competition that receives so many entries. Leeds did brilliantly. Apart from me, the 19 plus category winner Rachel Curzon and 19 and under category winner Annabelle Fuller are both from Leeds. Judith Palmer commented that there are more winners of the National Poetry Competition from Leeds than any other city. I'm really proud."

Ian completed a degree in Communication and Cultural Studies at Leeds Trinity University in 2005. He started writing poetry during the first year of his degree and, since graduating, has pursued a career in poetry.

He's been shortlisted for national competitions, published an award-winning poetry pamphlet and last year launched his first full collection 'Rules of Survival' at Keats House in London. He is founder and editor of the creative writing magazine Strix, which was shortlisted for best magazine in the Saboteur Awards in April.

He added: "It's been a great year so far. Submissions for the next issue of Strix are rolling in. I have a poem featuring in an anthology edited by Ian Duhig, launching at an event on National Poetry Day on 4 October. I'm proud to be in it, and proud of the response from writers in these troubling times."

Brett Arnall, Alumni Relations Officer at Leeds Trinity University, said: "It's always fantastic to hear from Ian about his continued successes with his poetry. This is another prestigious award and achievement and we couldn't be happier for him. We're also delighted with how Ian supports the University and always gets involved with events and initiatives."

Ian's next poem will appear in Ian Duhig's anthology entitled, 'Any Change? Poetry in a Hostile Environment', which features poets from a variety of communities in Leeds. 

Listen to the BBC Proms Poetry Competition here