Winner announced for prestigious poetry competition

Keele University is delighted to announce Alex Mazey as the winner of the Roy Fisher Prize for Poetry.

More than 50 submissions were received from creative writers across Staffordshire for the competition, named in honour of distinguished poet and former lecturer Roy Fisher – who taught at Keele University from 1971 to 1982.

A full pamphlet of Alex’s work will now be published by Flarestack and launched at a special reading in April.

Speaking about his win, Alex said: “I'm absolutely delighted to have been selected as the winner of the Roy Fisher Prize for Poetry. So much of contemporary poetry is saturated with a focus on post-material issues, so I was surprised to see a collection that values reality come out on top. To be recognised for my writing, in memory of such a distinguished poet, is obviously a huge honour."

James Sheard, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Keele University and one of the competition’s judges, said: “The standard of the entries received this year was very strong, but the quality of Alex’s work stood out. His work impressed all the judges and is worthy of its imminent publication.

“Credit should also be paid to the two other shortlisted finalists – Stephen Seabridge and Sophie Schünemann. They both came so close and should be proud of the work submitted.”

Alex’s work will be launched on Monday 30 April 2018 as part of the Keele Hall Readings series. Tickets for the event, which commences at 7.30pm, are free and available on first-come, first-served basis. Places can be reserved online at or by calling 01782 734340.

Sample poem from Alex’s pamphlet, provided courtesy of Flarestack.

From washed faces, from moving pipe,
from pallets and corner bread.
From the two up, two down,
the drive home, the double bed.

From chapped lips, warm flannels;
the backdoors wide open for
frigid breezes; pollens; husk
browns of the sycamore trees.

From the bowl that gives nothing,
beyond what’s given. To the pitch,
to the pottery – to whatever this is,
comes the forgotten maintenance

of buildings. Of redbrick, come
landscapes. From my life, come
side streets, the curtains left open.
I suppose this is what you wanted.

From the not todays, come all your days.
From the dirt on these hands, come food,
come rain. From the flat circle of time,
from the great sea, come this, always.