University Lecturer’s Poetry receives Prestigious Award

Dr Dave Swann has been awarded ‘Highly Commended’ award from the international Bridport Prize for his new poem ‘A Hill in November.

The prestigious Bridport Prize attracts thousands of entries every year, from over 80 countries. The Senior Lecturer in English & Creative Writing will now be celebrating his ninth award, which he has been told is the record for the most prizes at Bridport.

Dr Swann spoke about his achievement, saying, “I’m quite chuffed. It’s a tough competition because it’s so well-known, and I’ve known plenty of prize-free years.”

The poem is a culmination of two inspirations, an autumn moment in Dave’s allotment and a chance encounter with whale watchers in the Canary Islands. These two moments are brought together by the subject of loss.

The author spoke about the process of writing the poem, “this year’s poem came quite fast, which is rare for me. It just goes to show that there isn’t one perfect route to getting a piece of writing finished.”

“Our staff and students in the Creative Writing Department have a very good track record of success at the Bridport Prize over the years and I’m really happy to keep the University of Chichester in the spotlight.”

Dr Swann has also had success with his book ‘The Privilege of Rain’ which was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award.

His advice to writers is, “Just stick with it. If your work keeps getting on long lists then you’re doing something right! Remember Iris Murdoch’s idea, our work is always ‘the wreck of a perfect idea’!

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