Zaffar Kunial was born in Birmingham and lives in Shipley, Yorkshire. His mother was English and his father, who has since moved to Lahore, is from Kashmir. Zaffar studied at the London School of Economics and later attended Michael Donaghy’s classes at City University. He recently went on an Arvon course with Ian Duhig who then invited Zaffar to join his small writing group in Leeds. Until now, he’d held back from submitting his poetry for publication, but was writing toward a collection. He thought he’d start by entering the National Poetry Competition – “just in case”. He works as a writer for Hallmark.
Colette Bryce: "We were intrigued by the linguistic trail laid down by this poem, in the speaker’s search for his roots in language. Each time we read it, we noticed new connections, and the space created by the poem seemed to open up. We wanted to read it again, and again. In the strange business of competition adjudication, that counts for such a lot."
First Prize: 'To The Lighthouse' by Allison McVety
Second Prize: 'Ponting' by Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch
'White Basin' by Lindy Barbour
'Birmingham Roller' by Liz Berry
'In Vitro' by Antony Dunn
'Photograph' by Rosalind Hudis
'How to Furnish an Amercian House' by Helen Klein Ross
'Springtime of the Nations' by S.J. Litherland
'Our Lady of the Pylons' by Ian McEwen
'Blue Poison Dart Frog' by Jon Stone