Beverly Rycroft. Poet, Writer
Beverly Rycroft. Poet, Writer
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Femina / Sensa Features Competition 2010

Joint winner for the feature article "To the Edge". This was an exploration and contemplation of facing mortality. The full article can be found under "publications".

Thomas Pringle Prize for Poetry in Journals

 Letter to the other side

Here is the news: in my dreams you still prowl.
Sometimes I stand beside you silently,
until you turn and stamp your foot and bellow
in astonishment and joy.
Here is the news, Dad, please
promise you won’t be cross:

Mom has traded in your Kompressor
for a Mercedes 6.5 and travelled to America.
When the electricity fails, Paul from downstairs
brings her tea made on his gas stove.
Sometimes they talk about you.

Every day she goes to sculpture,
or art, or tape aids for the blind,
building and shaping those things that
waited like statues inside her for fifty years,
quietly soaping them down
closing her large fingers
around their palms,
rubbing their chilly hands
to life again.

Beverly Rycroft

Ingrid Jonker prize 2012

The Ingrid Jonker Prize for debut poetry collections is awarded every year, alternately for work in English and Afrikaans.

Citation for 2012 :

Beverly Rycroft’s debut collection missing is the winner of this year’s Ingrid Jonker prize for English poetry. The judging panel consisted of the poets Professor Wendy Woodward, Liesl Jobson and Helen Moffett.

Rycroft was singled out for her ‘craft, her strong, confident voice, the originality and variety of imagery and tone.’ Missing was praised for its beguiling narrative, ‘like a novel or memoir of a gripping descent into Pluto’s kingdom, and the unsteady ascent back into life’. The reader is completely immersed in the journey ‘but the poetry is never self-pitying or sentimental. Emotions are deftly understated and become all the more forceful.’

Judges found a spirit of emotional generosity in her poems: ‘Throughout the purgatory of illness, Rycroft has an appreciation, always, of what is happening elsewhere in spite of personal suffering, recalling Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts”’.’

Judges commented not only on the courage, humour and sustained imagery of the poems, but on Rycroft’s ability (following Emily Dickinson’s dictum) to tell the truth only slightly slant.

Nine volumes were submitted for judging. Competition was stiff, with one judge describing the process as a ‘photo-finish’ and another commenting that the top three were ‘remarkable works’ which displayed ‘a high level of artistry, a deeply considered aesthetic and courageous investigation into the most private histories of the narrators inhabiting the pages.’

Sol Plaatje EU poetry competition 2011; Second prize

Second prize for the poem "Has your Dad got a bird yet?"

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