The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets were established in 2009 to promote the pamphlet form and to enable poets and publishers to develop and keep creating. Since then, they have grown to include four awards, for ‘Poetry Pamphlet’, ‘Publisher’, ‘Illustration’ and ‘Poetry Pamphlet in a Celtic Language’, carrying prizes of up to £5,000.
Judges’ Comments In a year with such strong representation from established names, it’s remarkable that a press focused on emerging talent has made such a powerful impact on this years’ judges. More than half of ignition’s pamphlets this year were debuts and – from the emotional intensity of Kostya Tsolakis’ Athens adolescence in Ephebos to Zein Sa’dedin’s evocation of the neighbourhoods on the seven hills of Amman in Staircase – these pamphlets have a unity that belies their rich diversity. Whether it’s down to the iconic design which lends a seriousness to the pamphlet as a form, or the high level of dedication to developing and mentoring the emerging poets it publishes, the result is a press that publishes tight, well-worked and vital early collections that sit together as well as they stand apart.