Imison Award 2020

Imison Award 2020 WINNER

BATHWATER by Vicky Foster | Produced by Sue Roberts, BBC Radio Drama, 44’, BBC Radio 4

Above: Vicky Foster (right) with presenter Patricia Cumper | Photo © Tricia Yourkevich / BBC

Vicky Foster (right) with presenter Patricia Cumper | Photo © Tricia Yourkevich / BBC

Bathwater explores poet Vicky Foster’s real-life experiences of what happens when violence spills over into family life. What’s the impact on a son of having a violent father he never really knew? How does society view those whose partners are violent? ‘Do I walk like him? Do I talk like him? Is my body the same shape?’

The judges said: It was mesmerising. Incredibly powerful, gripping and a well-written piece that handles domestic violence in an unconventional way. Bathwater is thoughtful and explores inherited trauma well and has beautiful moments. It has great use of the medium and lovely use of language with some memorable phrases. The writing sucks you in, the characters are strong, and it is an intriguing, arresting piece of poetic drama, that explores the way trouble is passed on. It puts an isolated, overlooked world on the airwaves and it does so in a way that makes you really feel for the people it documents.

Vicky Foster is a poet and pub singer from Hull. Her poetry collection, Changing Tides, is published by King’s England Press. She is the host of Women of Words, which is an event for female performers of poetry, prose, drama, and song.


BY GOD’S MERCY by Colette Victor | Produced by David Hunter, BBC World Service, 53’

The judges said: Impressive, beautiful, quality writing and a real nugget. This is a well written piece and Colette Victor is one to watch. By God’s Mercy is highly original, clever, ingenious, powerful, and timely. It has good dialogue that paints the scenes well.

Colette Victor is a South African author who immigrated to Belgium in 2001. In 2013 she was shortlisted for the UK Mslexia Children’s Novel Competition. Head over Heart went on to be published by Chicken House the following year. Her adult novel, What to do with lobsters in a place like Klippiesfontein, was one of the runners-up in the 2013 Dundee International Book Prize. Both books are translated into German. Colette has always worked with people from disadvantaged communities.