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Flipped Eye Publishers announces contenders for The Venture Award

VENTURE AWARD SHORTLIST AND 2015 JUDGE ANNOUNCED

The shortlist is announced today for the Venture Award, a poetry pamphlet prize with a £1750 prize fund, which also offers publication under flipped eye publishing's flap series. The award, which is in its third year, has already won critical acclaim as the inaugural runner-up, Sarah Westcott, won the Poetry Book Society's Winter 2013 pamphlet choice with her commended 2012 entry. The 2014 award, judged by Helen Ivory, attracted 203 entries from all over the globe and announced a longlist of 7 poets in January 2014.

****Fascinating note about the judge:
Helen Ivory is an artist and poet. She was born in Luton but began to write poems at Norwich School of Art in 1997, under the tuition of George Szirtes. In 1999, she won an Eric Gregory Award and subsequently published her début The Double Life of Clocks(2002) with Bloodaxe Books. She is co-editor, with George Szirtes, of In their Own Words: Contemporary Poets on their Poetry (Salt, September 2012). Helen is an editor for The Poetry Archive and teaches for the Arvon Foundation, at the UEA and for The Poetry School. She lives Norwich with her husband, the poet Martin Figura, where they run the live-lit organization Cafe Writers. Her latest book is Waiting for Bluebeard(Bloodaxe, 2013).

The shortlist, chosen by the judge and the Venture Award Advisory Board, is as follows:

Samatar Elmi for ENTRY
Ian McEwen for THE SIDEWAYS FOR IT
Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody for DAYTIME SPIRITS
Pnina Shinebourne for A SUBURB OF HEAVEN

**The winner will receive £1,000 and flipped eye publishing will release a pamphlet of their work in 2015.
The Venture Award is also proud to announce that its judge for the 2015 award will be Illinois native, Tara Betts. A poet, lecturer and Cave Canem fellow, Tara's work has appeared in journals including Essence, Callaloo, PMS, Meridians, Drum Voices Revue, WSQ and Columbia Poetry Review. She has also written as a freelance for publications including XXL, The Source, BIBR and Mosaic Magazine. Tara appeared on HBO's Def Poetry Jam and her début poetry collection Arc & Hue was released in 2009.

Biographies of Shortlisted Poets:

Samatar Elmi is a poet and philosophy postgraduate student at the University of Bristol. His Poems have appeared in Magma; Ink, Sweat and Tears; Myths of the Near Future; and the Echoing Gallery anthology. Samatar is poetry editor at the Cadaverine, associate poetry editor at Scarf, and writer-in-residence at Cardiff Central Library. He has previously been longlisted for the Venture Award and Complete Works II.

Ian McEwen’s poems have appeared in magazines including Magma, Envoi, Shearsman, Poetry Wales and Poetry Review. In 2010 his pamphlet The Stammering Man was a winner in the Templar competition and his collection Intermittent beings was published by Cinnamon Press in 2013. He is treasurer of Magma Poetry and recently edited Magma 57. In pre-poetic life Ian gained a D.Phil. in the philosophy of mathematics and has worked in investment banking. He lives in Bedford in the UK where he promotes Ouse Muse open mic evenings.

Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody studied math in Chicago and medieval literature in France before ending up in Brussels, where he divides his time between literary translation and programming for digital publishing. His translations have appeared in many magazines such as Two Lines, TriQuarterly, and Cerise, and in film festivals in Scotland and Rome. In 2013 he received the Susan Sontag Prize for Translation.

Pnina Shinebourne is originally from Israel and has a background in visual
arts and in psychotherapy. She previously worked at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International and currently teaches psychology at Middlesex University. Pnina's poetry pamphlet, Radioactive, was published in 2013 with Poetry Salzburg.

History of Venture Award:

The Venture Award – named in memory of Wilfred Alfred Venture, a descendant of composer, actor and writer Ignatius Sancho, and influential mentor in his lifetime – was launched in the run-up to flipped eye publishing’s tenth anniversary to recognise an outstanding submission of fifteen pages of poetry with publication and a cash prize. In keeping with flipped eye publishing’s international and varied output, an advisory board, based in North America and the UK, of poets, critics and editors with a keen ear for true innovation, talent and creativity in poetry, was assembled. It comprises; Dr Nathalie Teitler, a Latin American poetry scholar; Fred D’Aguiar, an award-winning poet and lecturer; Dr Lauri Ramey, a poetry critic, author and scholar; Jeremy Poynting, founder and editor of Peepal Tree Press; and Christian Campbell, a poet, scholar and previous winner of the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. The advisory board will aid the judge in the selection of an overall winner of the award.

Good luck to all!

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