Sarah Howe, a 32-year-old British poet, has been awarded The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award for her first book of poems, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus), an enthralling personal exploration of her dual heritage.
Born in Hong Kong in 1983 to an English father and Chinese mother, Howe moved to England as a child. With extraordinary range and power, Loop of Jade crosses the boundaries of time, race and language,reflecting on hybridity, intermarriage and love. Already shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prize for Best First Collection, Loop of Jade introduces an unmistakable new voice in British Poetry.
Currently a Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard University, Howe is the founding editor of Prac Crit, an online journal of poetry and criticism, and, for National Poetry Day 2015, was given the unique honour of having her poem, Relativity, recorded by Sir Stephen Hawking.
Announcing the winner at a special ceremony at The London Library, Andrew Holgate, award judge and literary editor at The Sunday Times, said:
“The judges were unanimous in their choice of the winner of The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2015. From the strongest of shortlists, they selected Loop of Jade by Sarah Howe as a work of astonishing originality, depth and scope. Her luminous poetry explores her dual heritage (her father is English and her mother Chinese) and different eras of Chinese culture, juxtaposing these with her own personal experiences. She is a writer always conscious of language; these are poems that are sensuous, subtle, and full of immediacy and resonance.”
Award judge, author and previous winner, Sarah Waters, said:
“The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award has been presented to a fantastic line-up of authors since it was first launched, and I still feel honoured and excited to have been one of its recipients. The boost it gave to my confidence, in the early stages of my career, was tremendous. Helping to judge the prize this year was a great honour, too. Peter, Andrew and I drew up a very strong shortlist from an impressive range of titles, and Sarah Howe, our winner, is a significant literary talent, a very special writer indeed.”