A huge congratulations to Hive young poets Freya Baniff and Luke Worthy. Freya is a winner of the international New Poets Prize 2023 for her pamphlet All Appears Ordinary, and Luke Worthy is one of two runners-up for the prize with his pamphlet On What Could Sting debut pamphlet. Coincidently, both poets have also recently been commissioned to write fiction pieces for an anthology for Leeds 2023.
Being awarded a New Poets Prize offers Freya the wonderful prize of pamphlet publication with The Poetry Business alongside fellow winner Caleb Leow. Luke receives an Arvon residential course of his choice along with fellow runner-up Imogen Wade. All four placed will have work published in The North, a year subscription to The North and a launch event reading. Judge Kim Moore had this to say about Freya and Luke’s winning pamphlets:
“Nothing is truly ordinary in this extraordinary pamphlet, where owls are ‘light as an eyelash blown for luck’ and where illness and pain can be rinsed and washed away like stains. These poems keep the faith that language can illuminate anything – from everyday acts of love like the removal of nits from a child’s head to the extinction of a species. (All Appears Ordinary)
From a jellyfish like a ‘tumour of salt and sand’ to a meditation on Putin’s penis and toxic masculinity – these poems are full of surprising images and wide-ranging in their interrogations – of class, sexuality, homophobia and masculinity. (On What Could Sting)
Freya Bantiff (previously Carter) is a poet and fiction writer from Sheffield. In 2022 she placed third in the National Poetry Competition and was highly commended in the Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry 2022. She was also joint winner of the Bridport Poetry Prize 2022 (18-25s) while being highly commended in their overall competition. Freya was a winner of the Canterbury Poet of the Year Competition 2021 and her poems and stories have been placed in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award (2021), Mslexia Flash Fiction Competition (2020), Ilkley Literature Festival’s Poetry Competition (2010 – 2015) and Foyle Young Poet of the Year (2015), along with many others. Freya is a member of Hive Poetry and is currently studying an MA at UEA. She will take on the role of Apprentice Poet in Residence at Ilkley Literature Festival in October 2023.
Luke Worthy is a queer poet and fiction writer from Sheffield. His work has been published, or is forthcoming, in journals and anthologies including Poetry Wales, fourteen poems, Broken Sleep’s Masculinity: An Anthology of Modern Voices (2024), Youth Word Up (2017/2018), Surfing the Twilight (2019) and Dear Life (2022). In 2023 he was highly commended in the E.H.P Barnard Poetry Prize and was Young Poet-in-Residence at Sheaf Poetry Festival. Luke was commissioned to write a piece of children’s literature for Leeds 2023 and is a member of Hive Poetry Collective.
We want to say a massive thank you to The Poetry Business for supporting early-career writers so young, and offering this wonderful opportunity to move on to publication. Freya and Luke join recent Hive New Poet Prize winners: Beth Davies (2022) Safia Khan (2021) Georgie Woodhead, Lauren Hollingsworth Smith (2020) and Warda Yassin (2018). This year’s judge was Kim Moore.