Announcing the Primers Volume Five Finalists

Primers is an annual mentoring and publication scheme organised by Nine Arches Press. It provides a unique opportunity for three talented poets to find publication and receive a programme of supportive feedback, mentoring and promotion.


The selecting editors for Volume Five are poet Jacqueline Saphra and Nine Arches Press editor Jane Commane.

We're delighted to announce the threee finalists for Volume Five. 

Primers Volume Five Finalists


Krystelle Bamford 


Krystelle Bamford’s poetry has appeared in The American Poetry ReviewThe Kenyon ReviewUnder the Radar, and a number of anthologies. She was awarded a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Raised in the US, she now lives in Scotland where she's worked at Canongate Books, completed a Creative Writing MLitt at the University of St Andrews, and gave birth to two wee, radge kids.

Claire Cox 


Born in Hong Kong, Claire Cox has an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University, where she was awarded the Blackwell’s Prize for best student. She is currently a funded part-time, practice-based research student at Royal Holloway, University of London, studying poetry and disaster. She is also co-founder and Associate Editor of ignitionpress. Her poems have appeared in MagmaEnvoiThe Butcher’s DogLighthouse and Ink, Sweat & Tears.

Hannah Walker


Hannah Walker is a poet, theatre maker and producer from Saffron Walden. She studied literature at the University of East Anglia and a poetry MA at Newcastle University. She is an associate artist at the National Centre for Writing and Cambridge Junction.

Congratulations and gratitude to the other Primers Voume Five shortlisted poets

Juliet Antill


Juliet Antill grew up in North Nottinghamshire. She left to study languages, spent the 90’s in Europe and Central America (dodging entirely the rise of The Spice Girls) and moved to the Isle of Mull in 2001 where she still lives. She has two daughters and teaches mindfulness. Her poems have been seen in various publications including Magma, The North and New Writing Scotland.



Kathryn Bevis


Kathryn Bevis is an emerging poet and educator.  She read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and is founder of The Writing School. Kathryn hosts a Poetry for Wellbeing project for service users of the charity Mind, funded by Arts Council England.  Recent awards include: first prize in the Poets and Players competition, third prize in the Welshpool Poetry Festival competition, and runner up in the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry.

Claire Collison 


Claire Collison won the inaugural Women Poets' Prize, 2018. She was placed second in Resurgence and Hippocrates prizes, and shortlisted for Poetry Business Competition, Rialto Pamphlet Prize, and Bridport. This summer Claire was awarded ACE funding for her single-breasted life modelling monologue, Truth is Beauty. Recent poems appear in Second Place Rosette: Poems about Britain (Emma Press), The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry, Butcher’s Dog, and Finished Creatures.

Eve Ellis 


A native of the US, Eve Ellis has lived in London for ten years. She won the Winchester Poetry Prize in 2016 and was long-listed for Primers and the National Poetry Competition in 2017. Her poems have also appeared in Magma and Bare Fiction. She recently completed an MA in Creative Writing and Education at Goldsmiths and is a member of the Hornet Press poetry collective.



Thyrza Leyshon 


Thyrza Leyshon lives and works in Essex. Her poetry has appeared in a range of publications including The Warwick Review, The Interpreters House, Under the Radar, and The Morning Star. She also has work included in Est: Collected Reports from East Anglia published by Dunlin Press and was awarded second prize in Ware Poets competition 2018. The poem went on to be highly commended in The Forward Book of Poetry 2020.

Ian Walker


Ian Walker was the Ilkley Literature Festival 2018 Apprentice Poet in Residence, supporting Imtiaz Dharker, and completed a Poetry MFA at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2019. He won the Live Canon International Poetry Competition Borough Prize in 2016. His poems have appeared in various anthologies and magazines such as Magma, The North, and Ink, Sweat & Tears. He is currently based in Manchester with Petal, the Chilean Rose tarantula.


Primers Volume Five Longlist

Congratulations to the following poets, who were longlisted this time:


Kate Caoimhe Arthur

Sarah Barr

Heidi Beck

Michael Conley

Flora de Falbe

Hannah Hodgson

Christopher Lanyon

Judith Shaw

Caroline Stancer

Mairi-Claire Traynor

We offer our hearty congratulations to the shortlisted and longlisted poets. We also extend our thanks to everyone who entered but who didn't make our shortlist or longlist - though you were not selected this year, we thoroughly enjoyed reading and considering your poems; the quality was exceptionally high this year and the range of ideas, topics, and approaches was exemplary. You gave us plenty to consider and talk about, and we were excited to be presented with such a rich plethora of talent and new poetry, and we had tricky decisions and thoughtful choices to make in selecting the final ten for our shortlist.  We wish you all the very best with your poetry for the future and urge you to keep writing, keep reading, keep going. 

Key date:

Publication of Primers Volume Five: 28th May 2020

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