23rd Sep, 2018

Literature dedication leads to five figure grant for former Warwick University student

Emily Fish 2nd Jul, 2017

A FORMER student of University of Warwick has been awarded a £15,000 poetry fellowship for her dedication to literature.

Jane Commane, from Coventry, has been labelled as ‘a creatively ambitious poet’ and has been awarded a fellowship by Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Arts Council England.

The poet, who achieved her Bachelor of Arts and Masters degrees at the University of Warwick, is now a page poet and editor.

Her work is said to interrogate the complexities of class, ideas of place and identity, and examine the current troubled climate of austerity Britain.

The Coventry poet said: “The fellowship is permission to take your work seriously, by gifting the time and resources to make that concentration on the quiet work – the craft of poetry – possible.

“Poetry has a really important role in how we respond to and interpret the world about us. There’s no doubt we’re living in strange and challenging times as a country, and as a world.

“I will be thinking and writing about poetry’s role in terms of history in the making, and how poetry can be a voice for change, documentation and response to our age. People and place mean a great deal to me, so no doubt the Midlands, and canals, rivers, cities and roads will be themes that find their way into some of this too.”

The year-long fellowship rewards individuals who are making, or are capable of making, a significant contribution to the poetry community.

Over the year Jane will have access to mentors and critical friends to help bring her work to life and develop and enhance her practice.

The selection panel included writer and academic David Dabydeen, poets Kate Fox and Mimi Khalvati, Gemma Seltzer, and Shonagh Manson, director of Jerwood Charitable Foundation.

Sarah Crown, director of Literature, Arts Council England, said: “The Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships offer an unprecedented opportunity to create groundbreaking work and make a real impact within the poetry sector, as well as highlighting the vibrancy of the scene within the UK today.

“We’re delighted that our collaboration with Jerwood Charitable Foundation is able to provide much-needed funding for poets ready to take the next step in their career.”

Shonagh Manson, director, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, added: “As a panel, we were taken aback by the quality of submissions, and humbled by the sheer vivacity of the poetry community. It’s a community of self-starters who are making their own opportunities where often there are none.

“While this is commendable, I am proud that we have been able to award three inaugural bursaries with substantial financial support. Through the programme I hope we can inspire further support for this crucial and often under supported art form.”

The fellowships start in August and the official hashtag is #ComptonPoetry

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