The winners’ pamphlet of the Michael Marks International Greek Bicentennial Prizes
Available to buy internationally from Broken Sleep Books (winning publisher of the 2020 Michael Marks Publishers’ Award)
The launch of Ariadne is taking place this week, on Tuesday 7th December, at 7:30pm (UK), during the annual Michael Marks Awards event.
Hear Fiona Benson talk about her winning poetry portfolio and read from Ariadne, and join Judith Eyal as she talks about her winning illustrations.
Tickets are free but must be booked in advance through the British Library website. This is a broadcast-only event, so you will not be visible.
Ariadne: Poetry by Fiona Benson, Illustrations by Judith Eyal
With translations into Greek by Haris Psarras
Released December 7th 2021 // 32 pages // 978-1-915079-96-1
The Michael Marks International Greek Bicentennial Poetry Pamphlet Prizes celebrate 200 years since the beginning of the Modern Greek State.
the prizes launched in March 2021 with the aim ‘to honour the richness and vitality of Greek culture, its complexity and continual reinvention, its many traditions, its humanist philosophy, its cosmopolitanism and its lasting impact on the world as we know it.’
Hundreds of international poets and illustrators submitted portfolios of new work, responding to the culture and history of the Greeks. This winners’ pamphlet, Ariadne, is the culmination of the prizes. It contains the winning sequence of poems, Ariadne, by Fiona Benson, a separate portfolio of illustrations, by Judith Eyal, and translations of the winning poems, by Haris Psarras.
Judges’ comments on Ariadne:
‘This prize-winning portfolio is a radically original insight into the myth. The language, and the poet’s control of word and line, are beautiful and very accomplished. The whole thing reminds us that there is always something new, self-renewing and revolutionary in the Greek tradition; and also why, two hundred years ago, so many non-Greeks joined the struggle for Independence.’
— Ruth Padel
A poet’s own belief in their subject will not always transfer itself to the reader; but without such belief no useful transfer will ever take place. This writer’s conviction that the story matters (and matters now), is palpable – and persuasive. All good poems work like that: they persuade you into attending closely to something humanly important.
— David Constantine
Judith Eyal’s portfolio (of illustrations) shows a willingness to take on great themes, and to find an original graphic form for them. It manages to bring the past and the present together visually, and to maintain a Greek focus throughout while widening its references to the effects of Greek ideas and ideals on subsequent eras. Each composition is an original creation, but there is a consistent graphic language throughout. I think this is a remarkable achievement’.
— Antony Griffiths
Fiona Benson (poet) was educated at Trinity College, Oxford and then St Andrews University. Her full-length collection Bright Travellers (Cape, 2014) received the Seamus Heaney Prize for first collection and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Her second book, Vertigo & Ghost (Cape, 2019) won the Forward Poetry Prize. She lives in mid-Devon with her husband and their two daughters.
Judith Eyal (illustrator) is an Art Director, designer and illustrator. She was born and works in Tel Aviv, Israel. A graduate of the Bezalel Art & Design Academy, Jerusalem, she undertook further studies in England on a British Council scholarship. She is a co-founder and former chairperson of The Israeli Association of Illustrators.
Haris Psarras (translator) has published five poetry books, contributed essays and articles to journals, and edited volumes. He studied law at Athens, Oxford, and Edinburgh, and was Fellow in Law at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He is now Lecturer in Law at Southampton.