A huge congratulations to a long-time member of the South Yorkshire young writers network and a Hive young poet – Warda Yassin, who has just been announced as one of three winners of the Women Poets’ Prize 2020, alongside Alisha Dietzman and Natalie Linh Bolderston – congratulations to all! The judges this year were Liz Berry, Malika Booker and Pascale Petit.
Out of 734 entries, the three have been chosen to receive a package of support including a cash bursary, mentorship, creative opportunities and practical support. This year’s mentors are: Mona Arshi, Isobel Dixon and Martha Sprackland.
Warda was beautifully announced by poet Liz Berry, at an event on 17th November 2020. Liz said:
It is heart-lifting to know that women are making such tender, ambitious and thrilling work, and the world of poetry is moving forwards in such capable, exciting hands. I’m so pleased to be announcing the name of our first winner, Warda Yassin. We greatly admired Warda’s poems, the lyrical grace, the clarity and vivid image-making. And we also loved the work she was doing with young women writers in her community, and through her work as a teacher. Sometimes when you lift a poet, you know in turn they will be lifting others, and that feels such a beautiful gift to pass on. So, many congratulations Warda, we’re all delighted for you and know you’re going to shine so brightly.
This wonderful news comes just weeks after Warda was announced as Sheffield Poet Laureate at Off the Shelf Festival of Words, by Sheffield ex-Lord Mayor, Magid Magid, taking the baton from poet and rapper Otis Mensah.
Warda runs Hive’s Mixing Roots project and is a member of Hive’s Poetry Collective. You can hear Warda reading recently with other fine young poets in the network as part of the Hive Sheaf Poetry Festival showcase this Saturday 21st Nov via this link (premiering at 1pm).
Photo courtesy of Timm Cleasby