Jay Bernard wins Ted Hughes prize

Jay Bernard

In London, the poet has won a £5,000 prize for the new poetry to a performance survey, in 1981, in the south of London fire in which 13 black youngsters died.

Jay Bernard was awarded the Ted Hughes Award Surge: Side A, performed at the Roundhouse in London last year.

The New Cross Fire in Deptford, some of whom had perhaps been a racist arson fire, is seen as a watershed moment in Black British history.

Bernard is a film programmer at BFI Flare, the London LGBTQ+ film festival.

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Bernard’s poem beat six others for the prize, which is funded by the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

The work was praised by the jury for his “intensely personal relating to the New Cross massacre” and its “honesty and vulnerability”.

Dom Bury, Devon, has been named the winner of this year, the Poetry Contest at the same awards ceremony on Wednesday.

His poem, The Opening of a Field, was chosen from over 13,000 entries to receive the £5,000 prize.

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