Poetry London Prize-winners: Q&A with Romalyn Ante (1st prize, 2018)

1. What did it feel like to win the Poetry London Prize?

I will be forever grateful to Kwame Dawes for choosing my poem. I feel validated and more inspired to work on my poetry. Winning the prize, alongside others (whose works I love and respect) such as Selima Hill, Suji Kwock Kim, and my mentor Pascale Petit, will always be one of the greatest highlights of my journey as a writer. It is a dream come true. 

2. Has winning the prize opened up new opportunities for you as a poet?

Yes, my Twitter followers went up (LOL). But one of the most important things is it got the attention of a highly-respected editor who later offered to publish my collection, Antiemetic for Homesickness. This will come out this July. Another important aspect for me about winning the prize is I feel my peers in the field started noticing my work which is very important to me.

3. Do you have any tips for poets wondering whether to enter?

Just do it, life is short.