Image of Photograph of Dr Rod Mengham

Dr Rod Mengham wins Cholmondeley Award for poetry

Jesus College Fellow and University of Cambridge Reader in Modern English Literature, Dr Rod Mengham, has been awarded a 2020 Cholmondeley Award by the UK Society of Authors. The awards are considered to be ‘the leading lifetime achievement award for British Poets’ by The Oxford Companion to the Book.

The Cholmondeley Awards for Poets were founded by the late Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley in 1966 to recognise the achievement and distinction of individual poets. The recipients are chosen by the Awards Committee for their general body of work and contribution to poetry.

Dr Mengham said: “The great thing about the Cholmondeley is the people who have won it before—people like Basil Bunting, Christopher Middleton, Tom Raworth, Denise Riley—and at least one other Jesuan: J.H.Prynne.  Just to be on the same list is a great honour, and also very humbling.  I really am very grateful."

In addition to his roles at the College and University, Dr Mengham is the author and editor of books on 19th and 20th century fiction, 20th century poetry, violence and avant-garde art, and language and cultural history. He's also editor of the Equipage series of poetry pamphlets, and joint editor and translator of Altered State: the New Polish Poetry.

His own poems have been published under the titles Unsung: New and Selected Poems (Salt, 2001), Parleys and Skirmishes (Ars Cameralis, 2007), Chance of a Storm (Carcanet, 2015), Grimspound and Inhabiting Art (poetry and essays, Carcanet, 2018) and 2019 the vase in pieces (Oystercatcher, 2019). He has published numerous art critical essays and has also worked as a freelance curator, including for the famous Chapman brothers.

The UK Society of Authors announced the award winners at a virtual ceremony on Thursday 18 June. 

Dr Mengham’s most recent books can be purchased online from the publishers: Chance of a Storm (2015) and Grimspound and Inhabiting Art (2018) from Carcanet, and 2019 the vase in pieces (2019) from Oystercatcher.