Meet the Breast Cancer Survivor Who Won the Women Poet’s Prize


Breast cancer survivor and artist Claire Collison is one of the honorees of the Women Poet’s prize whose notable works include a monologue that revealed a woman’s beauty as she performed her piece with her mastectomy scars exposed.

Collison transitioned from her 30-year-old job as a visual artist to writing prose and poetry.  The Women Poet’s prize recipient who is also a Bridport prize awardee was overwhelmed with her recent accolade.  “This means a more to me, though, because it recognizes that the process of writing is as important as the finished poem and that is something I believe absolutely,” she said.


Collison joined New Zealand-born Nina Powles and London-based Anita Pati as the three winners of the award that aims to empower females and celebrate “creatively ambitious practitioners who are making or are capable of making a significant contribution to the UK poetry landscape”.  


Each winner received £1,000 and all of them will be mentored by a recognized woman poet.

The 22-year-old Powles impressed the judges for her work of “incredible originality.” Determined to empower gender-balance in the world of literature, she said that “Being mixed race and half Chinese Malaysian, it has been a particular focus for me to discover other mixed race poets, writers and artists.”


As with poet Anita Pati, the judges described her poems as “full of linguistic and sonic quirk, with a great display of emotional intelligence.”  overwhelmed with her victory, Pati emphasized that women poets need financial and mentoring assistance to showcase their talents and let their voices be heard.