The 2017 winner of the iYeats International Poetry Competition is poet Tammy Armstrong, of Nova Scotia, Canada, for her poem ‘The Varying Hare’. As judges Jessica Traynor and I put it in our brief citation: ‘This is a special poem, one that manages to combine depth of ambition with deftness in execution, rendering, with enviable clarity, a crepuscular, fog-tinted milieu. Its uncanny, depopulated landscape is one readers are unlikely to forget as it leaves us ‘wrong edged’ and ‘thicket-blind’, lingering, despite ourselves, in the ‘animal time’ it so vividly conjures’.
Tammy Armstrong’s publications include four poetry collections and two novels. She has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, short-listed for the CBC Literary Prize, and the Governor General’s Award for Poetry. She also holds a PhD in English literature and Critical Animal Studies from the University of New Brunswick, and served as a 2011-2012 Canada-U.S. Fulbright Scholar. She now lives in a lobster fishing village, on the south shore of Nova Scotia.
The emerging winner for poets of 16-25 years of age is Cynthia Miller, Birmingham U.K. with her work ‘The Last Hour on the Flight Deck’. In our citation Jessica and I declared how “this stood out for us as an ambitious poem full of surprising and well-rendered details. From the air stewardesses who ‘arch their feet inside boxy heels’ to the dusk which ‘siphons lavender shadows across the room’, this is a poem which explores distance and dislocation through vivid, intimate imagery.”
Cynthia Miller is a Malaysian-American poet and brand strategist living in Birmingham, U.K. She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and her poetry has been published in Primers Volume 2, The Emma Press Anthology of Love and Under the Radar magazine. She is also Co-Director of Verve, Birmingham’s inaugural poetry and spoken word festival, and part of Room 204, Writing West Midlands’ development programme for emerging writers.
It was a pleasure to judge this competition with Jessica. The standard was high and competition intense… My heartiest congratulations to the winners!