Alice Oswald has been named
the winner of the third Warwick Prize for Writing. She won for her poem, "Memorial
." She is the first poet to win the prize awarded by the University of Warwick. The poem is a version of Homer's The Iliad
The University of Warwick says in the announcement
, "Matthew Arnold praised the Iliad for its 'nobility', as has everyone ever since -- but ancient critics praised it for itsenargeia, its 'bright unbearable reality' (the word used when gods come to earth not in disguise but as themselves). To retrieve the poem's energy, Alice Oswald has stripped away its story, and her account focuses by turns on Homer's extended similes and on the brief 'biographies' of the minor war-dead, most of whom are little more than names, but each of whom lives and dies unforgettably - and unforgotten - in the copiousness of Homer's glance."
The Guardian interviewed
Alice about the poem in 2011. They say Alice felt The Iliad
had been transformed into a poem that glamorizes war, so she is retelling with the footsoldiers as the heroes.
The award carries a 25,000 pounds cash prize, which is about $40,000 U.S.
Photo: W. W. Norton & Company