WINNER AND RUNNERS UP OF THE EDWIN MORGAN POETRY AWARD
AT THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL
The Trustees of the Edwin Morgan Trust are thrilled to announce the results of the first Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for Scottish poets aged 30 or under, the largest poetry prize in the UK.
Niall Campbell is awarded £20,000, for his first collection Moontide, published by Bloodaxe this year. Niall was born in 1984 on the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, and now lives in Edinburgh. He received the news and the Award at an event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Thursday 1th August 2014 in the evening. Moontide was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and is also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.
The judges of the Award were poets Stewart Conn and Jen Hadfield. Stewart Conn commented: ‘These poems, with their rich textures, succulent descriptions and seductive cadences reveal a gifted word-smith… [they] transform the sea-bound Uist they celebrate.’ And Jen Hadfield remarked, ‘In lightly framing the unsaid, some of these poems have a haunted quality: they are cat’s cradles between poet and reader.’
The runner-up £1,000 plus help with publication
Claire Askew (currently studying Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh – PHD ) for her unpublished collection ‘This changes things’. She receives £1,000 as a shortlisted poet, and a further amount to support her work towards publication. Jen Hadfield said that ‘Askew’s is a humane consciousness, with a genius for communicating how people tick’, while Stewart Conn welcomed a ‘voice that is arrestingly and distinctively her own… words and imagery constantly seeming fresh-minted.’
Other short-listed poets, who each receive £1,000
Are: Londoner, Tom Chivers, Orkney born, Harry Giles living in Edinburgh, Stewart Sanderson studying at the University of Glasgow, and Californian Molly Vogel studying creative writing at the University of Glasgow.
On behalf of the Trustees, Professor James McGonigal recalled Edwin Morgan’s basic optimism, his faith in the future, as a poet who ‘always preferred to look forward, not back’: ‘The Edwin Morgan Poetry Award supports a new wave of Scottish poets in practical and positive ways. The quality of work emerging is ample proof that such faith in Scottish poetry was justified.’