A LECTURER from the University of Chichester is celebrating being shortlisted for a prestigious national poetry competition.
Dave Swann was chosen out of hundreds of entries to be in the running for the 2011 Ted Hughes Award, organised by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
Despite missing out on first prize, Mr Swann said he was honoured to be mentioned ‘in the same breath as the legendary Ted Hughes’.
Mr Swann’s book The Privilege of Rain – based on his experiences as writer in residence at Nottingham Prison – was among five books chosen for the shortlist for the prize, which celebrates ground-breaking attempts to fuse poetry with other art forms.
The senior lecturer in the department of English and Creative Writing, said: ‘It’s a real honour for any writer to be mentioned for a few seconds in the same breath as the legendary Ted Hughes.
‘He was my hero when I was growing up, one of the first poets who showed me the magic of images and language. I feel incredibly happy to have my work recognised in this way.’
He added: ‘When the award was announced, I was disappointed for a few minutes, but I got over it pretty quickly.
‘It’s important to remind yourself that you write for the joy of writing, not for the end result. That’s what I tell my students, and it’s what I believe at the bottom of my heart.’
At the awards ceremony at the Savile Club in London, the £5,000 first prize went to Kaite O’Reilly for The Persians.