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Disabled Poets Prize 2024 winner

Person with short white hair wearing glasses and blue-checked shirt and light brown jacket smiling warmly with greenery in backgroundSusie Wilson (1994, English) has won the 2024 Disabled Poets Prize in the Unpublished Pamphlet category for Nowhere Near As Safe As A Snake In Bed, her sequence of melanoma poems.

The prize is supported by Arvon, ALCS, Criptic Arts, Spread The Word and Verve Poetry Press. The 2024 Disabled Poets Prize was judged by Pascale Petit, Stephen Lightbown, Kabir Kapoor (the British Deaf Association’s UK BSL Poet Laureate) and Jamie Hale.

Susie is an autistic Scottish poet, with ADHD, living in Sheffield. At Univ, she was a College Scholar and recipient of the University’s Violet Vaughn Morgan Prize for English. She currently serves on the College’s Access Committee. Susie holds an MA in Poetry from The Writing School, MMU and has been published widely in anthologies such as those for the Winchester, Gloucester and Shepton Mallet Competitions, with poems also commended by Fresher and Poets & Players and longlisted in The Rialto Nature Competition. You can also read her work in journals such as Envoi, Monofiction and Black Bough. Frosted Fire Firsts and Indigo Dreams longlisted her first pamphlet “Skin The Rabbit” in 2020, which has yet to find a home. You can find Susie on X @concordmoose. She lives with Stage 4 Melanoma. Nowhere Near As Safe As A Snake In Bed, which deals with advanced melanoma and the cutting-edge science currently being used to combat that disease, will be coming out later this year with Verve Poetry Press.

Susie commented, “Thank you so much to Pascale Petit and Jamie Hale for selecting my sequence of melanoma poems to win the unpublished pamphlet prize. It is fantastic to know that they will get their day in the sun. Living as I do with Stage 4 melanoma, ‘getting published’ was my single bucket item and I’m delighted that I’m gonna need a bigger bucket. Thank you also to the team at Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield, who take such brilliant care of me, so that I’m still here and able to write, however hard things are. Thank you to my wife, family, friends and poetry friends for their endless support and critique. Congratulations to all the listed poets.

“As an auDHD poet, it’s brilliant to be able to represent the complexity of what we are capable of (in my case perhaps often left-field/surreal image links and sound/language patterning characteristic of my auDHD) whilst at the same time having the helping hand which this prize brings to get to market and develop further. The Disabled Poet Prize last year made me realise that it’s no good waiting to feel better, or be ok, or get on top of things. It made me see that it’s possible to get on with writing with hope and verve. I hope to see what we can do to keep spreading the word about this brilliant prize over the next year.

“Otherwise, watch this space for more related work about the mouse/sun/poetry god Apollo and the nature of time… including in animation and drawn form.”

Photo: Nelly Naylor

Published: 10 April 2024

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