The Folio Society and House of Illustration announced yesterday that Mikki Lee has won the tenth annual Book Illustration Competition. The Korean-American illustrator is from South Pasadena, California, and is currently a student at the Art Center College of Design. Lee will receive a commission worth £5,000 to illustrate a new collection of love poetry selected and edited by the poet, artist and filmmaker Imtiaz Dharker. The collection will be published by The Folio Society in 2021.
Lee’s winning entry (pictured at the top of this article) was selected from over 470 entries received from 51 countries, from Australia to Venezuela, via Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka. There were several other shortlisted artists, who will each receive £500: Leonie Woods (UK), Jurgita Vasiliauskaite (UK, student), Albert Victoria Fernández (Spain), Greg McIndoe (UK, student) and Georgina Smart (UK, student). Amita Sevellaraja from the UK also won the People’s Choice Award, voted for by members of the public online.
“This year’s judging was a really special event – being treated to a reading of each poem before we began and one by the poet Imtiaz Dharker herself,” said Folio Society art director Sheri Gee in a statement. Speaking about Lee’s work specifically, she said: “In final deliberations, we had one clear winner – who managed to convey real passion in their entry. I think we’re all looking forward to seeing how they’ll complete the commission.”
Imtiaz Dharker, who was also on the judging panel, commented: “It is particularly challenging to illustrate poetry, because poems don’t want to be pinned down or made to say just one thing. Entrants approached the subject with an impressive variety of styles and distinctive energy, all of them demonstrating great ambition and freshness.”
Love Poems, selected and introduced by Imtiaz Dharker and illustrated by Mikki Lee, will be available from The Folio Society in January 2021.
Illustration © Mikki Lee 2020 from The Folio Society and House of Illustration Book Illustration Competition for a collection of Love Poems selected and edited by Imtiaz Dharker