Scholar scoops poetry prize

  • June 28, 2012
Scholar scoops poetry prize

Kate Crowcroft has won the University of Cambridge's most prestigious poetry prize.

Gates Cambridge Scholar Kate Crowcroft has won the John Kinsella / Tracy Ryan Poetry Prize – the most prestigious poetry prize at Cambridge.

Kate won joint first place for her poem ‘Poemtree’ which she read at a prize-giving event earlier this month. The Australian poet and writer John Kinsella spoke at the event about the two winning entries.

Kinsella is a fellow of Churchill College and set up the prize with his partner and fellow poet Tracy Ryan in 2005 for members of the University of Cambridge. Poems submitted for the prize have to be in verse and be less than 200 lines.

Kate, who is from Australia, is doing an MPhil in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, focusing on Geoffrey Chaucer’s reception in English Renaissance texts. She is using linguistic approaches to uncover evolving theological ideas about language and speech during this period.

She has been a keen poet since early childhood. She says: “I’ve been writing since I was about seven years old. I remember my first poem was called ‘Wish Wish Starfish’ and was about the sea laughing. It was published in my school newspaper so it has been a long pursuit!”

Recently she had a chapbook [pocket-sized book] of poems entitled Southern Lights published by Wide Range Chapbooks and did a public reading to mark the launch [she is pictured at the reading].  Wide Range Chapbooks was started at the University of Cambridge to showcase emerging poets’ work.

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