The Judges

Poetry and Publisher's Awards

Colour headshot photo of poet Fiona Benson

Fiona Benson was the winner of the Michael Marks Greek Bicentennial Poetry Prize, with her portfolio Ariadne, published in the winners’ pamphlet of the same name. Her third collection Ephemeron was shortlisted for the 2022 T.S. Eliot Prize and Rathbones Folio Prize. Her second book, Vertigo & Ghost won the Forward Poetry Prize. Bright Travellers received the Seamus Heaney Prize for first collection and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. She lives in mid-Devon with her husband and their two daughters.

Black and white photo of poet and critic Imogen Cassels, a judge of the 2023 Michael Marks Awards for Poetry and Publisher

Imogen Cassels is a poet and critic. She is the author of ChesapeakeVOSSArcades, and Mother, beautiful things, with poems in the London Review of Books, The White Review, and the Cambridge Literary Review, amongst other places. She reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, and lives in London.


Colour headshot photo of Laura Jansen, Associate Professor (Reader) in Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of Bristol, and Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies choice of judge for the 2023 Michael Marks Awards

Laura Jansen is Associate Professor (Reader) in Classics & Comparative Literature at the University of Bristol. Her research explores the interplay of classical memory and modern identity in 20th and 21st century experimental artists and their dialogue with archaic and classical Greek literature and thought. Laura regularly runs international events and collaborates with emerging voices in the fields of poetry and the visual arts. Amongst her publications are three edited volumes on Anne Carson, including Anne Carson/Antiquity (Bloomsbury 2021).

Colour head and shoulders photo of Stephen Cleary, Curator of drama and literature recordings at the British Library and a judge of the 2023 Michael Marks Awards for Poetry and PublisherStephen Cleary has worked for the British Library since 1994 and has been a curator of drama and literature recordings since 2003. His department collects and makes accessible documentary recordings of literary readings, drama, and other non-musical performance in Britain, together with recordings of ancillary material such as interviews and discussions. Steve was Lead Curator of the British Library exhibition ‘Listen: 140 Years of Recorded Sound’, which ran from October 2017 to May 2018. He is a member of the board of the Poetry Archive.

Illustration Award

Colour head and shoulders photo of Sir Nicholas Penny, judge of the Michael Marks Illustration Award, pictured with a blurred background that indistinctly shows a painting in a gold, ornate frame, and a dark green wall

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. His books and articles  include The Materials of Sculpture, Taste and the Antique (with Francis Haskell) and Raphael (with Roger Jones).

Environmental Poet of the Year prize

There is a separate judging panel for this prize, information about which can be found on the Environmental Poet of the Year prize page

Follow us on Social Media