Kaddy has her eyes on the Picador prize

Published: 6 January 2011 at 14:54

Anglia Ruskin MA student swaps Hollyoaks for poetry

Cambridge writer Kaddy Benyon is celebrating after being shortlisted for the inaugural Picador Poetry Prize.

Kaddy, who lives in the Hills Road area of Cambridge, only took up poetry after enrolling for an MA in Creative Writing at Anglia Ruskin University. Prior to this the 37-year-old was a successful scriptwriter, having penned 70 episodes of the popular Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks.

Kaddy said:

“It’s a real honour to get shortlisted for the Picador prize, especially as I’m up against some established names in the poetry world.

“The judges will be looking at a body of work rather than one particular poem, although I will have to read out one of my poems at the awards evening, which I’m pretty nervous about.

“I’ve only been writing poetry since 2009 and it sort of came about through necessity. I have two young children and I quickly found that poetry is the perfect medium to work in when you have small pockets of time!”

On her decision to enrol at Anglia Ruskin University, Kaddy said:

“I had previously worked as a television scriptwriter, but was keen to explore my ability to write original fiction.

“I chose Anglia Ruskin University primarily because it was a practical location for me with a young family, but I was also excited that it was a brand new course that the students would be able to make their own, and this has certainly been the case.

“My writing has benefited enormously from debates, critiques and editing over the past two years, both from my peers and my tutors. I can see a huge development in my writing and have recently had several pieces published in literary magazines.”

Other writers shortlisted for the Picador Poetry Prize include Beatrice Garland, who won the National Poetry Prize in 2001, and Helen Mort, the poet in residence at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere.

The result will be announced at a prize-giving ceremony in London on 20 January, with the winner receiving an advance and a publishing deal with Picador.