On top of winning awards in previous prizes such as a commendation in The National Poetry Competition, which is the UK’s biggest poetry competition, Ella’s poetry collection titled Shine, Darling, has been shortlisted for the Forward Prizes for Poetry run by the Forward Arts Foundation, an organisation that aims to promote public knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of poetry in the UK and Ireland.
Ella, who is originally from St. Ives, studied A Levels in Art, Art History and English Literature during her time at the College. Despite not having an interest in English at secondary school, Ella shared that she was glad when she decided to take the subject to a higher level because of the passion shown by her lecturer: “I remember my first English Lit class really well, I couldn’t believe how engaged and alert everyone was - the lecturer was really passionate about poetry - and so we became passionate too”.
Ella also enjoyed other aspects of the College, including the university campus feel and the independence provided by lecturers:
It felt like we were trusted with our education, that we were making the choice to learn rather than it being compulsory - it was really liberating
Since leaving the College nearly 10 years ago, and completing a Fine Art Foundation at Falmouth University and a BA in English and Creative Writing at the prestigious Goldsmiths University of London, Ella has made a name for herself as a poet and artist. She has worked with organisations such as Tate St Ives, Tate Britain, The National Trust, the Observatory in New Forest, as well as having a residency in the Physics department at Royal Holloway University where she wrote about the Cassini spacecraft during the final year of its mission.
For those looking to go into a career similar to Ella’s, she shared some important words of wisdom: “Read and write as much as you can - go to events and exhibitions and readings. Be interested. Apply for things even if you don’t think you’ll get them”.
The winner of the ‘Best new collection’ of Forward Prizes for Poetry will be announced this October.