The 2021 Mapleton-Bree prize for work in the Creative Arts

Date 25 June 2021

Congratulations to Yijia Tu (Musicology, 2020), this year’s winner.

The Mapleton-Bree Prize is awarded annually for a piece of creative work by any junior member of St John's. This year the high calibre of entrants was reflected by the fact that, in addition to the main prize, the judges awarded two runner-ups and one highly commended entry across a range of creative mediums. 

The winner this year is Yijia Tu (Musicology, 2020), for her song Willow Flowers, written as a tribute to her grandfather.

Eleanor M. Baker (Dphil Medieval Literature, 2018) was awarded runner-up for her linocut "Hares On The Mountain". The title comes from an English folk song on the same name which was covered by Shirley Collins in 1959. In her version, Collins subverts the original lyrics by making the women in the song the hunters and the men the hunted.

Eleanor Baker linocut.PNG

Minying Huang (Dphil Medieval and Modern Languages, 2014) was also awarded runner up for her poetry collection, one of which, 'A Geography of the Surface of My Palm', can be read below.

A Geography of the Surface of My Palm.png

‘A Geography of the Surface of My Palm’ was first published in wildness, Issue 26 (May 11, 2021).            

There was also a special commendation for Natalie Perman’s (English and German, 2018) collection of poetry, one of which, cbt obituary, is featured below.

cbt obituary

in the session she asked us to explain control fallacies/ set the exercise/ to write a letter/ i tried a few titles/ boys, again/ boy goes to rehab this time/ rewritten letter where boy goes to rehab/ none of them fit/ i was bruised from single days/ knocking out a million nurses/ diving into pig-headed greenhouses/ discovering new fruits/ digging pools of water/ feeding omelettes to dogs/ and going to war with children/ i was filtering/ focusing on the positive/ the political curiosity of seeing the blood run from a man’s nose/ and charting an eclipse in early fall/ prophesising dolphins in an all-inclusive/ and shaking alarms until they fell/ i held shoulds tight to me as ropes/ and jumped to conclusions thoughtlessly/ i praised free samples for invisible wrinkles/ yellows for migraines/ and capitalism for girls who love unicorns like ceremony/ i stuffed my nose with salt and sneezed peonies/ my body polarised/ catastrophised/ turned acid/ wet and stinging/ through a heartbeat/ my body did not give/ it took and received/ it lifted a drawbridge to a single room/ with no doors/ therapy is about tearing off/ what is healing/ if this isn’t emblematic of a revolution/ i will draw pain into a corkscrew/ it will mutate into a spiral staircase/ and i will climb up

‘cbt obituary’ to be published with Anthropocene poetry journal.

Congratulations to all of our talented winners this year!