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  • Writer's pictureBelle Kenyon

Renowned Poet Maura Dooley Announced as Judge for the 2023 Aryamati Poetry Prize

The Aryamati Poetry Prize, dedicated to social change and peace poetry, is thrilled to announce the appointment of distinguished poet Maura Dooley as a judge for the 2023 edition of the prestigious award. With her extensive experience and profound contributions to the world of poetry, Dooley will bring her discerning eye and literary expertise to the panel of judges.

Author photo: Isadora Dooley Hunter

Born in Truro and raised in Bristol, Maura Dooley studied and lived in Yorkshire for ten years before moving to London. Dooley is Professor of Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College. Throughout her illustrious career, she has edited notable collections such as "Making for Planet Alice: New Women Poets" (1997), "The Honey Gatherers: A Book of Love Poems" (2002), and "How Novelists Work" (2000). Her own selection of poems, "Sound Barrier: Poems 1982-2002," was published by Bloodaxe in 2002 and drew from her highly acclaimed collections including "Explaining Magnetism" (1991) and "Kissing a Bone" (1996), both of which received recognition from the Poetry Book Society.

Dooley's poetic prowess has garnered critical acclaim, with her collections "Kissing a Bone" and "Life Under Water" being shortlisted for the prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize. Furthermore, her poem "Cleaning Jim Dine's Heart" was a finalist for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2015 and appeared in her collection "The Silvering" (2016). Her translation, alongside Elhum Shakerifar, of Azita Ghahreman's "Negative of a Group Photograph" (Farsi title: نگاتیو یک عکس دسته جمعی) was published by Bloodaxe Books in collaboration with the Poetry Translation Centre in 2018. This translation received an English PEN Award and was shortlisted for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation in 2019. Maura Dooley's most recent collection, "Five Fifty-Five," was published by Bloodaxe in 2023.

The Aryamati Poetry Prize, now in its fifth year, focuses on promoting social change and peace through the art of poetry. Notable past winners include Katrina Dybzynska, Pippa Little, Jenny Mitchell, and Sundra Lawrence. In a significant development for the 2023 prize, both a pamphlet winner and a full collection winner will be published. This expansion aligns with the award's objective of amplifying voices that strive for positive transformation. Furthermore, in collaboration with Manchester Poetry Library, the winning poet will be interviewed.

The Aryamati Poetry Prize pays homage to the memory of Olga Kenyon, known as Aryamati, an accomplished Cambridge graduate who left an indelible mark on the literary world. Aryamati, a highly respected non-fiction author, dedicated her career to documenting and researching the history of women's writing, publishing eight books. A talented poet herself, she was honoured with the North West Libraries poetry award in 2013, and her poem about Alderley Edge adorned the city's trams. The prize reflects her love for extensive reading, corresponding with loved ones through postcards from around the world, and actively seeking critical feedback to enhance her craft.

Founder and Director of Fly on the Wall Press, Isabelle Kenyon, expressed her excitement about having Maura Dooley join the judging panel. “I remember picking up Kissing A Bone in the library and absolutely loving it. Since then, I’ve read Maura’s work in Bloodaxe anthologies, seen her perform her translation (with Elhum Shakerifar) of Azita Ghahreman's Negative of a Group Photograph in Manchester, and had the pleasure of meeting her at the 2021 Laurel Prize awards, where Fly on the Wall Press author Ricky Ray was longlisted for ‘The Sound of the Earth Singing To Herself’! I have a deep admiration for her work and I can’t wait to see what poetic gems she chooses for the 2023 prize.”

Fly on the Wall Press, the renowned publisher behind the prize, specialises in political fiction, poetry, and cross-genre anthologies. Fly on the Wall Press has garnered widespread recognition, earning four nominations as a finalist in the British Book Awards for Small Press of the Year. Their publications have received prestigious honours across various literary genres, including poetry awards such as The Laurel Prize and The Julie Suk Award.

The Aryamati Poetry Prize is set to open on June 28, 2023, and will accept submissions until August 28, 2023, midnight GMT. Poets from all backgrounds are encouraged to participate and submit their works of social change and peace poetry.

For more information about the Aryamati Poetry Prize and submission guidelines, please visit the official website at

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