Blackpool-born poet David Morley has been shortlisted for the prestigious Ted Hughes Award for New Poetry, the Poetry Society has announced.
Established in 2009 by Poet Laureate and Vice President of the Poetry Society, Carol Ann Duffy, the £5,000 prize is funded with the annual honorarium the Poet Laureate traditionally receives from HM The Queen.
The award is one of the only prizes to acknowledge the wide range of work being produced by poets – not just in books, but beyond. Previous winners of the £5,000 prize include Andrew Motion in 2014 for Coming Home.
Seven poets, including Morley, are in the running, with the final winner to be revealed at an awards ceremony at the Savile Club, Mayfair, London on March 31.
Morley has been nominated for The Invisible Gift: Selected Poems.
Known for his energy and linguistic inventiveness, David Morley writes about diverse and fascinating subjects, from Romani tales to sharply observed lyrics about nature, from political allegory to vividly imagined histories.
Morley, who teaches at Warwick University and Monash University, Melbourne, was born in Blackpool in 1964.
His mother Rose, 80, who still lives at the family home in Norbreck, said: “David has won many awards for his poetry but this is particularly apt because I know how much Ted Hughes meant to him.”
Morley has talked of the impact of hearing, at 15, the Ted Hughes poem Wind read aloud in an English class at Montgomery High School recalling it as the first poem he ever read or heard.
Morley was educated at Anchorsholme Primary, Montgomery and Blackpool Sixth Form before studying zoology at Bristol University.
He worked as an ecologist at the Freshwater Biological Association at Sawrey.
Morley has received 14 literary awards including a major Eric Gregory Award in 1989.
His podcasts are among the top downloads on iTunes worldwide. He was one of the judges of the 2012 TS Eliot Prize. His latest collection The Gypsy and the Poet is a Poetry Book Society recommendation.