Winner for text: Nick Makoha (King's College London)
Nick Makoha is the founder of The Obsidian Foundation. In 2017, Nick’s debut collection, Kingdom of Gravity, was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and was one of the Guardian’s best books of the year. Nick is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow and the Complete Works alumnus. He won the 2015 Brunel International AfricanPoetry Prize and the 2016 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection Man. His poems have appeared in the Cambridge Review, the New York Times, Poetry Review, ‘e Rialto, Poetry London, TriQuarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo and Wasa#ri. He is a Trustee for the Arvon Foundation and the Ministry of Stories, and a member of the Malika’s Poetry Kitchen collective.
A Low-Pressure System is part of sequence that explores the Entebbe hijacking in 1976. It is a dramatic retelling of those events, paralleled against Nick’s life, and key historic events and other intertwining material linked by the motif of flight. It hopes to expand on the range of viewpoints usually brought to bear on this story. Nick uses airport codes as the titles of poems, and as points of inquiry about liminality at airport terminals, as well as poems of the immigrant experience. The motif of flight is rendered through the myth of Icarus and and Basquiat who painted Icarus Esso, 2002.
Runner-up for text: Mischa Foster Poole (Birkbeck, University of London)
Prize judge, Will Eaves, described A Dictionary of Neurological Signs as “a small triumph of weird science and even weirder poetics, as though Daniil Kharms and the Futurists had been put in charge of the General Medical Council. The poems dramatize their unusual conditions (such as the inability to point to parts of the body) with a battery of effects – corrupted repetition, word distortion, musical allusion, brilliant juxtaposition – and make a case for “nonsense” verse as something more than “an appeal to the Unconscious” (Auden). In Mischa Foster Poole’s hands, it is a revealing symptom of political distress, and a reminder of how easily writers and diagnosticians alike can become officious and doctrinaire.”
Winner for sound: Erchao Gu (Guildhall School of Music and Drama)
A local of Wuxi, Singapore and London, Erchao Gu is a composer, cultural bridge builder and music educator. Her music has been heard at Barbican Centre’s ‘Beethoven Weekender’, ‘Sounds Like THIS’ festival in Leeds and The Place Theatre, London. She has enjoyed the opportunities to work with leading new music ensembles and artists such as Quatuor Bozzini, the Ligeti Quartet, Aisha Orazbayeva and EXAUDI. After graduating from King’s College London with a First Class (Honours) in Music in 2019, Erchao is now completing her Masters in Composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the supervision of Professor Julian Anderson, with generous support from the China Scholarship Council and the Guildhall School Trust.
Written for leading new music vocal ensemble EXAUDI, setting words by Arthur Rimbaud, A virtual tour of a virtuous place launches a curious investigation into the notion of ‘rented afterlife’ within London’s (in)famous property market. Completed during the first lockdown in 2020, this piece strives to capture an intimate sonic snapshot of the period of collective isolation we have all experienced over the past year.
Runner-up for sound: Sońa Vetchá
The orchestral piece Cuts is inspired by the subjective perception of the listeners, musical paradoxes and psychoacoustics. As the title suggests, during this piece, our perception flows in a landscape of unrelated blocks, composed from sudden or slower musical cuts. The aim of the composition is to manipulate the listener’s variable perception. It is based on the various types of contrasts that form and timing work with, mostly unpredictably, during listening.
Winner for visual arts: Edward Gwyn Jones
Edward Gwyn Jones (he/him, b.1997, Stoke-on-Trent, UK) works primarily with moving image. His work utilises appropriated moving images, artefacts, and sound to antagonise the relationships between perceived concurrent binaries and how they inform collective and individual postulations of time. Ed graduated from Manchester School of Art in 2019 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art, Sculpture and Time-Based Arts, and received his MFA from the Glasgow School of Art in 2021.
Inspired by an absurd story by Peter Gabriel, Genesis indulges in moments of ‘switch’ and explores our relationship to artificial light. The artefacts and appropriated characteristics of modernist design in the video form the edges of a world built on convoluted references, while the decidedly twee Englishness of Gabriel’s fable help reinvent electricity and light in moral terms.
Camera assistance by Lydia Davies
3D Modelling by Jay Mulholland
Runner-up for visual arts: Rachel Bacon
Ivan Juritz Judge Josephine Pryde described The Other Orebody as “thoughtfully compiled and beautifully photographed, laid out with an admirable and expressive economy of means… The vibrancy of the drawings and their technique leap off the screen, while the thoughtful research behind the pieces makes itself felt in a variety of ways, prompting us to see and to comprehend on several levels at once. The nature of the surface, the organisation of the grid, the marks and fissures of a landscape and an excavation recalled but not imitated. It was striking to receive such a sense of the tactile in a time of reduced, or restricted, sensory experiences.”
Winner for Text: Suzannah V. Evans (Durham University)
Suzannah V. Evans has published poems in PN Review, The London Magazine, The Scotsman, and elsewhere, with others broadcast on BBC Radio Bristol. She has read her work at Keats House, London, where she organised Keats House: New Poets, for York Literature Festival and StAnza Poetry Festival, and at Underfall boatyard in Bristol, where she was poet in residence in 2019. She is an AHRC-funded doctoral researcher at Durham University and the winner of a 2020 Northern Writers’ Award from New Writing North. Her debut double-pamphlet Marine Objects / Some Language was published with Guillemot Press in April 2020.
Evans was awarded the Ivan Juritz Prize for poems from her collection Brightwork, also due to be published by Guillemot Press. These poems, written during a residency at Underfall Yard, a working boatyard in Bristol, have shape and objects at their heart. Brightwork is intended as a close reading of place, and of the objects in that place, borrowing theoretically from the French prose poems of Francis Ponge, some of which Evans translates. The poems also nod to the subtle calligrammatic qualities of Ponge’s writing, and to Jones’s attention to the language of boatbuilding in The Anathemata.
Runner up: K Patrick (University of Glasgow)
Judge Richard Scott comments that K Patrick’s ‘S. at the Beach’, “interrogates queerness and carves out a place for trans bodies and trans sexuality in modernism and indeed in literature. What at first begins as relaxed, vernacular and meandering soon reveals itself to be a deeply resonant and tightly structured piece which simultaneously places bodies and the natural world under the stress and wound of language and observation.”
Winner for Sound: Demian Rudel Rey (Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon)
Demian Rudel Rey, born in Buenos Aires, is a composer of instrumental, mixed, electroacoustic and visual music. In Argentina he obtained two diplomas in guitar and a BA in Composition, before receiving a Masters in Composition at the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon, France, where he is now completing a post-masters qualification. He has won numerous national and international composition competitions, and his work has been performed at festivals around the world. www.demianrudelrey.com.ar
Cuélebre (2019) is a composition for ensemble and electronics, commissioned by the Proxima Centauri and dedicated to Philippe Hurel. It is inspired by a legend of Asturian mythology, and is also linked with the text El Libro De Los Seres Imaginarios, a catalogue of fictional animals by Jorge Luis Borges. The cuélebre is a type of winged serpent, and Rudel Rey’s composition is inspired by its hybridity to create chimeras between contrasting sounds.
Runner-up: Erchao Gu (Guildhall School of Music and Drama)
Inspired by the third movement of Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite, Erchao Gu’s entry for string quartet, titled movement, explores and evokes multiple meanings and experiences of the title word outside the musical world.
Winner for Visual Arts: Elisabeth Brun (University of Oslo)
Elisabeth Brun is a Norwegian filmmaker and scholar, who previously worked as a journalist and documentary film director in Norwegian Public Service Broadcasting (NRK 2001-2013). Recently she submitted an experimental PhD on the intersection between documentary, art/design and philosophy. (Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo).
She was awarded the Ivan Juritz Prize for her 7-minute film, 3xShapes of Home. The film is a topographical moving image experiment made as part of her PhD-project “Essay Film as Topography: explorations of place through moving image thinking”. The film explores forms and dynamics in environments and their projective powers for the imagination of place, engaging with formal experiments of early modernist filmmakers such as Dziga Vertov´s Man with a Movie Camera (1929), a pioneering film-example of conceptual form being derived from the patterning of experience and not from any external rule.
Runner up: Soojin Chang (Glasgow School of Art)
‘The Nurse’ explores a monstrous-surrogate’s desire to move closer to an ‘animal state’. It begins with the chimera performing Mukbang, or food eating show, consuming rabbit mochis, and progresses with the chase of a single rabbit ear that is stripped away from inside her body. Through animal masks, food-symbols, and performance, the work alludes to mythological associations of the hare.
Introduction to the 2019 Prizegiving
Winner for Text: Kathryn Maris
Kathryn Maris is an American-British poet and critic who has published three poetry collections, most recently The House With Only An Attic And A Basement (Penguin 2018). Her work has appeared in Penguin Modern Poets 5, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Best British Poetry, The Forward Book of Poetry, Granta, Poetry and The Financial Times. She teaches at the Poetry School in London, and reviews fiction and poetry for the TLS. Twitter: @KathrynMaris, Instagram: @kooxiekyrie
In the House of Atreus sequence, Maris reworks the story of Clytemnestra and her family, using found text, syllabics and ideas derived from Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein. Depicting conflicts within the self as well as the confusion and cruelty of modern life, these poems rise and fall between the heroic and the bathetic, synthesising influences from Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore.
Helen Charman, (PhD, English Literature, Trinity Hall Cambridge)
A spirited response to institutional sexual harassment and gendered power imbalances, this is a long poem in dialogue with the great long poems of the modernist era, sharing their interest in mixing high and low registers and in allowing multiple readings and interpretations.
Winner for Sound and Music: Manos Charalabopoulos
Manos Charalabopoulos is a Greek-British composer and pianist. He has collaborated with acclaimed musicians and ensembles including Joanna Gutowska, Henry Chandler, Alex Edmundson, Accroche Note, Hezarfen Ensemble and Bristol Ensemble. His latest album, ‘Espelho Duplo–Double Mirror’, features solo piano music by Brazilian composer André Luiz Machado.
In Charalabopoulos’s work ‘Two Poems’, one imagined and one actual poem (Alan Shapiro’s Everything the Traffic will Allow) have had their words removed and their music given to the instrumental voice of the cello. These instrumental voices and recitations, be they projected or introspective, engage with a hyperrealist aesthetic, where instrument becomes voice and word becomes music, at once abstracted and enlarged.
Lewis Coenen-Rowe (PhD, King’s College London)
The Storm is a short chamber opera that adapts Kate Chopin’s 1898 short story of the same name. In the story, Chopin juxtaposes the external objective world of the storm and the internal subjective world of the characters. Coenen-Rowe responds to this by combining music that actively reflects the characters’ psychology with music that’s deliberately un-expressive, and by using musical structures that avoid fulfilling expected resolutions.
Winner for Visual Arts: Claire Michel
Michel is a Fine Art artist, working across different media such as performance, moving image and drawing. She is currently undertaking an MFA in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Arts and was awarded the 2018-2019 Wimbledon Trust Bursaries. www.claire-michel.com
The short film ‘Suspended’ shows Michel dismantling the peculiar collection of objects arrayed on the ceiling of her recently deceased father’s bedroom. The footage, stripped of emotion by being speeded up, contrasts with the lyrical tone of the narration, in which Michel recalls painful details from her father’s life and her own childhood.
Sam Schmitt (MFA, Goldsmiths)
A provocative but appropriately organic response to climate change, ShadeShelter’s images are of the aftermath of hurricanes, never of the hurricane itself. The installation contrasts images of detritus with the calm complacency of ambient music and atmospheric sounds from the cold of winter.
Introduction to the 2018 prizegiving
Winner: Cat Woodward
Cat Woodward is a feminist lyric poet, she lives in the UK and New Zealand. In 2014 she was awarded a CHASE studentship to study for a PhD at the University of East Anglia, her thesis develops a poetics of robot-lyric voice. Her first poetry collection, Sphinx, was published by Salò Press in 2017. She has been published in Datableed, The Literateur, Lighthouse, Tears in the Fence and others. More information at www.catwoodward.com.
This year’s prize was judged by Rachel Cusk, Jeremy Harding, Gillian Wearing and Ryan Wigglesworth.
Jeremy Harding writes ‘This year’s entries for the Ivan Juritz prize are a superb crop. From installations and performance pieces to texts, paintings, film and musical composition, the submissions are all strong; some are outstanding. A great year for the prize, and ample evidence that a healthy curiosity about form and the modernist legacy is alive and well.’ Of the winner he adds, ‘Cat Woodward describes her sequence Away My Grievance as a quest for ‘a new modern lyric answerable to our current modernity’. The poems — 36 in all — are fully confident and beautifully voiced, sometimes by an authorial ‘I’, who inhabits them fitfully, but mostly by another version of the first person speaking clearly from within the work itself — the ‘I’ of the poems. In her presentation Cat Woodward asks: ‘How far can I push the poetic operations of the lyric subject?’ Not much further, if these are anything to go on. A poetry entry for the Ivan Juritz prize isn’t necessarily asking for the same sort of judgment as a submission to a poetry editor. But the judges were lucky this year: we happened to be reading lyric verse of a high order.’
Cat will receive £1000 and two weeks’ residence at Cove Park. Extracts or accounts from each shortlisted entry will be published in the journal Textual Practice.
(PhD candidate, composition, Academy of Music Krakow) ‘Sinfonietta – Time is ticking‘. A sound recording of a sinfonietta for string orchestra full of frequent changes in time.
Performed by Sinfonietta Cracovia, cond. Jurek Dybał
Anna Cathenka and Alice Willitts
(M.A. Creative Writing Poetry, UEA), ‘p0_EM Stein1′. ‘p0_EM Stein1‘ reveals a new poetic process, built on Gertrude Stein’s language experimentation, that adapts a laboratory protocol for plasmid DNA extraction.
(PhD candidate, composition, King’s College London) ‘Even if it is Only a Whisper‘. A composition of largely unchanging dense texture comprised of repeated semiquavers and demisemiquavers from which small cells of melody grow, repeat and augment, but do not develop.
(PhD candidate, composition, King’s College London) ‘Tox‘. For ondes martenot and piano, this piece aims to express an acoustic and energetic process between these two instruments with so different timbre.
(MFA in Fine Art Media, Slade School of Fine Art), ‘Force Majeure‘. A performance piece comprised of repeated trials at the same experiment: to paint a storm whilst in the midst of one, and to film these efforts.
Winner: Grzegorz Stefanski
Grzegorz Stefanski, is a film and video artist who lives and works in London and Warsaw. Born in 1983, he trained at the Faculty of Philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland and then at Mirosław Balka’s Studio of Spatial Activities at the Fine Arts Academy in Warsaw. In 2016 he received the Felix Slade Award to undertake the MFA degree at Slade School of Art in London.
This year’s prize was judged by Lisa Appignanesi, Dexter Dalwood, Julian Forrester, Jeremy Harding, Deborah Levy and Ryan Wigglesworth.
Dexter Dalwood writes: ‘With the visual artists in particular, the judging panel were keen to shortlist artists who they saw as immersed in their practice. Grezegorz Stefański particularly stood out as someone who was deeply engaged with his work. His three channel video projection ‘restraint’ has been awarded the Ivan Juritz prize this year. It’s a video of two men in uniforms presenting to the camera how to incapacitate a civilian with their bare hands. Stefański has taken as his source a photograph by the artists Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan who from 1975-1977 selected photographs from a multitude of images from picture archives in California. This was one of the first conceptual photographic works of the 1970’s and demonstrated that the meaning of a photograph is conditioned by the context and sequence in which it is seen. Stefański reimagines the photograph with the two men in uniform as Nazis and creates a piece of physical performance that becomes very contemporary and topical in its restaging. The panel all agreed that Stefański has developed a strong body of work that both understands the roots of modernist practice but is also fully of its time’.
Grzegorz Stefanski will receive £1000 and two weeks’ residence at Cove Park in September. Extracts or accounts from each shortlisted entry will be published in the journal Textual Practice.
Yarli Allison (Art MFA student, Slade School of Fine Art) ‘Momo the Talking Hair’. A film lamenting the insecure destiny of hair follicles, narrated by a hair called Momo. Momo the Talking Hair.
Manos Charalabopoulos (Music PhD student, King’s College London), ‘Canto’ A musical composition for violin, horn and piano, exploring song and conflict. Canto.
Sarah Hymas (Creative Writing PhD student, University of Liverpool), ‘Recovery’
A prose poem investigating the world of a beach and its ecological shortcomings through what can and can’t be seen. Recovery SHYMAS.
Ali Lewis (Creative Writing MA student, Goldsmiths), ‘Familiar Objects’
Poems defamiliarising ordinary objects such as Book, Popcorn, Phone, Biscuit, Shower, Sponge, Bathtub. Familiar Objects Ivan Juritz Ali Lewis.
Winner: Jocelyn Campbell
Jocelyn Campbell’s ‘rgn.1 | ‘nt’rl’d’ | rgn.2’ is a composition for piano that experiments inventively and beautifully with systems of musical invention in an attempt to straddle an ambiguous line between ‘modernist’ stylistic traits (its emphasis on formal construction and an abstract, non-teleological musical language) and ‘postmodern’ imitation. Watch the performance of the piece given at the prize-giving at King’s College London or read the description.
Jocelyn Campbell (born 1990) is a London based composer who is currently studying at King’s College London for a PhD. in composition under the supervision of George Benjamin. Jocelyn had previously studied with Silvina Milstien at King’s for a Master’s of Music, and completed a BA in music at Middlesex University under Brian Inglis, François Evans and Peter Fribbins. Ensembles who have played works by Jocelyn include: The Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Lontano Ensemble, the Allegri String Quartet, the Finale Orchestra, the Solarek Piano Trio, Newe Vialles, and Ensemble X.Y., among others.
Ziad Nagy’s ‘What Lies Beneath’ is a short animated film that plays with surface and depth and with the relationship between technology and the uncanny in a humorous and original way.
Cecilia Stinton’s Der Gelbe Klang is a collaborative production that creatively and professionally juxtaposes Kandinsky’s colour opera Der Gelbe Klang (1909) with a performance of Franz Schreker’s Kammersymphonie (1916) and Lewis Coenen-Rowe’s new work, A Cosmic Joke (2014). Through innovative puppetry and lighting design Stinton and her team revisited Kandinsky’s classic modernist work from a twenty-first century perspective. Stinton discusses the production in ‘Performing Colour and Staging Sound: Revisiting Kandinsky’s Multimedia Project’.
Winner: Martin Scheuregger
Winner: Ivan Juritz
Ivan Juritz’s ‘A Textual Source for Mallarmé’s Coup de Dés’ is a wonderfully original reworking of Mallarmé ‘s ‘Un Coup de Dés’, written as though the entire poem is Mallarmé’s doodled and mistranslated marginalia on an English primer.
Kate McEnery’s ‘Icarus (Returned)’ tells the story of Ovid’s Icarus myth using only lines from Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, brilliantly returning Joyce to his Ovidian routes at the same time as creating a startling portrait of loss as the ‘Ovidian young man’ is cast down, ‘his heart trembling in an ecstasy of fear’.
Simon Vickery’s ‘Dress Up’ is a short Youtube film that responds playfully and movingly to Beckett’s Not I. Simon writes: ‘We watched Beckett on Youtube and he was not out of place. More than that – it was an entirely appropriate place in which to find him… ‘Dress Up’ is a response to encountering Beckett in this way.’
These entries can be seen in Textual Practice
A note on Ivan Juritz
Ivan Juritz won the prize in its inaugural year with a startlingly original reworking of Mallarmé ‘s ‘Un Coup de Dés’. He was a brilliantly gifted researcher, writer, dancer and musician; a committed European and a committed modernist. After his sudden death in 2015, we decided to rename the prize in his honour, hoping that future entries will display the same spirit of creative daring and serious play that we can see in his piece.