The University of Huddersfield’s Dr Steve Ely has been shortlisted for a prestigious literary award for his imaginative poem The European Eel.
The poem is one of four works in the running for the 2022 Laurel Prize, drawn up by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and the Poetry School.
The European Eel was published by Longbarrow Press in late 2021, and derives from Steve’s fascination from the enigmatic and now seriously endangered creature. The poem follows an eel’s likely journey from Yorkshire into the North Sea and back to its birthplace in the Sargasso Sea, and is a combination of highly imaginative writing and scientific research by Steve, who is senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Director of the Ted Hughes Network.
Simon Armitage said: “It’s phenomenal to see another worldwide and world-class selection of books reflecting poetry’s global response to the planet’s precarious environmental situation.”
Sally Carruthers, director of the Poetry School, added: “As ever, it is an honour and privilege to support the battle against climate crisis through some of the planet’s most innovative, inspiring and impactful words on the subject. These collections reach the heart of the issues and thus of us all.’’
Also shortlisted are Jemma Borg’s Wilder, Rebecca Hawkes’ Meat Lovers, Cynthia Miller’s Honorifics and Linda France’s The Knucklebone Floor.
The ceremony, which will be livestreamed, will take place at the Birmingham Hippodrome on 9th September as part of the Contains Strong Language festival.