Ivan Juritz Prize Shortlist 2021


Mischa Foster Poole, Birkbeck College, University of London

A Dictionary of Neurological Signs

The 26 poems in this sequence get their individual titles from the chapter headings of an eponymous reference work for neurologists. As a non-neurologist, the meanings of these headings are opaque to Mischa, which he enjoyed as a starting point. The overall sequence was written in one big push, at the beginning of this year, using each starting-point title to shape the form and music of its poem, without there necessarily being much semantic or referential connection (although some does creep in of course, along with some intentional misreading).

Read the text here

Nick Makoha, King’s College London

Selection from A Low-Pressure System

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.

Read the poems here

Sound and Music

Erchao Gu, Guildhall School of Music and Drama

A Virtual Tour of a Virtuous Place

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.

Listen here

Sońa Vetchá, Academy of Performing Arts, Prague


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.

Listen here

Visual Arts

Rachel Bacon, St Lucas School of Arts, Antwerp

The Other Orebody

The Other Orebody (2019-2020) is an exploration of how drawing can work within larger issues concerning landscape, extraction industries and the aesthetics of the climate emergency. It is the result of a year long research project investigating the additive mark making activity of drawing, and the extractive one of mining, and how an understanding of this relationship might lead to an artistic practice capable of addressing the ecological crisis. The orebody, a term for the connected mass of ore suitable for mining, in the drawings appears to be formed by the undrawn paper, suggesting a space of imaginative potential.

View the works here

Edward Gwyn Jones, Glasgow School of Art

Genesis (What Can’t Light See?)

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

View the film here