The Judges

Poetry and Publishers’ Awards

Julia Copus is a poet and biographer. She has published four collections of poetry, the most recent of which, Girlhood (Faber 2019), was winner of the inaugural Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry. Her awards include First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem for ‘An Easy Passage’. Faber also publishes her rhyming picture books for children, which include Hog in the Fog and My Bed is an Air Balloon. In 2018, she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. This Rare Spirit: A Life of Charlotte Mew is her first biography.

Julia describes her experience of judging the 2021 Awards HERE

André Naffis-Sahely is the author of the collection The Promised Land: Poems from Itinerant Life (Penguin, 2017) and the pamphlet The Other Side of Nowhere (Rough Trade Books, 2019). He is also the editor of The Heart of a Stranger: An Anthology of Exile Literature (Pushkin Press, 2020). He is from Abu Dhabi, but was born in Venice to an Iranian father and an Italian mother. He has translated over twenty titles of fiction, poetry and nonfiction from French and Italian. He is a Visiting Teaching Fellow at the Manchester Writing School and is the editor of Poetry London.  

Manuela Pellegrino is a Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University. She holds a PhD in anthropology from University College of London. Through her current project on ethnographic poetry, she conceptualises and uses writing poetry in Griko, a minority language of Greek origins. Since 2006 she has conducted research among Griko-speakers and activists in Apulia (Southern Italy) and Greece. She was a fellow of the Smithsonian Institution (2018/2019) and lectured part-time at Brunel University (2014-2017). She originally comes from Zollino, a Griko-speaking village.

Manuela shares her experience of judging the 2021 Awards in her article ‘Fields of Poetry: On Judging’

Callum McKean is a curator at the British Library working with literary archives and manuscripts from the post-war period to the present day. Since June 2021, he has led on the Library’s acquisition and research into the personal digital archives of writers, poets and other prominent individuals in contemporary public life. He received his BA in English Literature from University College London and his MPhil from the University of Cambridge, where his work considered the role of technology in contemporary auto-fiction. He has been the editor for the Library’s English & Drama Blog since 2017.

Illustration Award

Sir Nicholas Penny was Director of the National Gallery, London from 2008 to 2015. Other positions have included lecturer in art history at the University of Manchester, Keeper of the Department of Western Art at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, Clore Curator of Renaissance Painting at the National Gallery London, and Senior Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. He is the author of many books and articles on both painting and sculpture, including Raphael (with Roger Jones), Taste and the Antique (with Francis Haskell) and The Materials of Sculpture.


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