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GENEVIEVE CARVER WINS THE MOTH NATURE WRITING PRIZE 2022



Genevieve Carver’s ‘Postcards from a Fulmar’ has been chosen by Max Porter as the winner of The Moth Nature Writing Prize 2022.

‘Being chosen by Max Porter as the winner of The Moth Nature Writing Prize is huge for me – especially for work from my residency with the University of Aberdeen, as it highlights the important research they are doing into these incredible birds,  and shows what can happen when arts and sciences work together.’ Genevieve Carver

Genevieve Carver’s poetry has been published in journals including Mslexia, The White Review, The North, The London Magazine, Magma and Poetry News. Her first collection, A Beautiful Way to be Crazy (Verve Poetry Press, 2020), was based on a gig theatre production in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist live band The Unsung, and her pamphlet, Landsick, explores themes of connectivity and discord between humans and the natural world (Broken Sleep Books, forthcoming 2023). She’s currently Poet in Residence with the University of Aberdeen’s School of Biological Sciences, where she’s observing and writing in response to their work studying bottlenose dolphin, porpoise and harbour seals in the Moray Firth, as well as the fulmar colony on the uninhabited island of Eynhallow in Orkney.

‘It’s such an interesting and surprising hybrid, which manages to be deeply funny and very sad at the same time, an unusual feat in both science writing and poetry, even more unusual when the two are blended. The ironic and the tender are perfectly fused, and formal innovations are cleverly tethered to meaning. Both the birds and the language were thrillingly ‒ and in unexpected ways ‒ alive in this piece.’ Max Porter 
 
MAX PORTER ALSO COMMENDED THE FOLLOWING
 
The Whale by Susannah Dickey
‘The kind of story you read and then go and hunt down more of the author’s work. A totally superb short story. Not a wasted word. Utterly imprinted on my mind.’ 
 
Susannah Dickey grew up in Derry and now lives in London. She is the author of four poetry pamphlets. Her poetry has been published in the TLS, Poetry London and Poetry Ireland Review. Her short fiction has been published in The Dublin Review and The White Review. In 2019 she won the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize, and in 2021 she was longlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Award. She is an Eric Gregory Award winner, a prize granted for a collection by poets under the age of 30. Her debut poetry collection, Isdal, will be published in 2023. She is the author of the novels Tennis Lessons and Common Decency, both published by Doubleday UK. 
 
'Actual Poem' by Leah Naomi Green
‘A carefully wrought and startlingly beautiful poem in which huge cycles of human and non-human meaning and experience turn under the apparently intimate question-to-self, and connections between the body and the world are startlingly illuminated.’
 
Leah Naomi Green is the author of The More Extravagant Feast (Graywolf Press), selected by Li-Young Lee for the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets and named ‘one of the best books of 2020’ by The Boston Globe. She received the 2021 Lucille Clifton Legacy Award as well an Academy of American Poets 2021 Climate Action Poetry Prize. Her work, which has appeared in The Paris Review, Tin House, Poem-a-Day, VQR, The Southern Review and Orion, among other publications, has been featured on NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ and supported by fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Green teaches environmental studies and English at Washington and Lee University. She lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia where she and her family homestead and grow or find much of their food for the year.

Bucolic by Lance Larsen
‘Instantly and unmistakably the work of a great poet. Unforgettable images, a tremendous rhythm and energy in the line, a poem which demands to be read aloud and lingers long after.’ 
 
Lance Larsen has published five poetry collections, most recently What the Body Knows (Tampa 2018). His awards include a Pushcart Prize, an NEA fellowship, the 2021 Sewanee Review Prize, and the 2022 Alpine Fellowship Prize. He teaches at Brigham Young University and likes to fool around with aphorisms: ‘A woman needs a man the way a manatee needs a glockenspiel.’ In 2017, he completed a five-year appointment as poet laureate of Utah. Sometimes he juggles.  
  
Earth Tongue by Sammy Weaver
‘Brings the personal, the poetic and the fungal together in a profoundly generative way. Clearly the result of deep thinking and a beautifully accomplished freedom of movement between poetry and prose.’ 
 
Sammy Weaver is a poet from Hay-on-Wye, currently based in West Yorkshire. She has a Creative Writing MA from Manchester Metropolitan University. Her poems have appeared in The MothThe Island Review and Anthropocene, and have been anthologised widely. She won The Moth Nature Writing Prize in 2020. She was shortlisted for a Northern Writers’ Award for poetry and Nine Arches Press’ Primers scheme in 2021.  Her pamphlet, Angola, America (Seren), won the Mslexia Pamphlet Prize 2021.


ABOUT THE PRIZE
 
‘What a great competition to be running.’ Robert Macfarlane
 
The Moth Nature Writing Prize aims to encourage and celebrate the art of nature writing. It is awarded annually to an unpublished piece of prose or poetry which best combines exceptional literary merit with an exploration of the writer’s relationship with the natural world. 
 
The prize is open to anyone over the age of sixteen, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. 
 
Each year a single judge is asked to choose one winner from entries worldwide.

As of 2023, there will be three winners (1st €1,000 plus a week at Circle of Misse; 2nd €500, 3rd €250), all to be published in the Irish Times online.
 
Previous judges include Richard Mabey, Helen Macdonald and Max Porter.