Press Release: 2006 

Matt Barnard wins The Hamish Canham Poetry Prize 2006.

This year’s Hamish Canham Poetry Prize has been awarded to Matt Barnard for his poem ‘The Sore Thumb’.

The prize is awarded every year for the best members’ poem published in Poetry News during the preceding year. A remarkable child psychotherapist and writer who had a passion and enthusiasm for poetry, Canham co-edited the Journal of Child Psychotherapy in which he included a marvellous discussion of Philip Larkin’s ‘Aubade’. Canham died in 2003 at the age of 40 and the prize of £300 a year has been generously endowed by his parents in his memory.

This year’s prize was judged by Carole Satyarmurti, Dr and Mrs Canham and Poetry Society staff. Satyarmurti said ‘the poem wonderfully captures the unease that arises from the contact between established members of a small community and people who come in from outside. Nothing dramatic happens, but the landscape is strongly evoked in language that is precise and graceful.’ Barnard has had poems published in various poetry magazines and was one of the poets featured in the Poetry Schools 2004 anthology Entering the Tapestry.

- Ends -

Notes to Editors

To find out more about the Poetry Society visit

Canham’s other theoretical writings included a look at how the reading of a poem can be illuminated by thinking about it psychoanalytically. In 2002 he co-edited with Carol Satyamurti Acquainted with the Night: Psychoanalysis and the Poetic Imagination, which features an excellent paper by Canham on Seamus Heaney. Sadly Canham died before the book was published.

This page is part of the Poetry Society's press release archive.