Category Archives: Culture

Scottish Poets awarded £24,000 in Edinburgh

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.

The winner 

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Claire Askew (currently studying Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh – PHD ) for her unpublished collection ‘This changes things’.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.’

 

 

 

Sun shines and crowds flock to the Edinburgh Book Festival

One of the major shows during the Edinburgh Festival that always surprises is the Edinburgh International Book Festival.  The first time I attended it was a delight and each year its appeal never fails.  There are of course the authors and if you are lucky enough to book your ticket in time, you can meet with them at one of the many events.

As can be seen from our photos it s not just the events that attract, it is the beautiful gardened area of Charlotte Square that brings the people too.  Add to this the shops with a large display of books, including a shop that specialises in Children’s material the visitor is in book heaven.  Today it was pure perfection, as the sun shines, and the crowds just flock in.

Sunny Book FestivalOn Saturday 9th August 2014 today…

12:30    Ben Chu & David Eimer – Chu and Eimer explore whether it is possible to get a real sense of what China means, both to the outside world and to itself.

15:00    Iain Macwhirter – In the first of our events examining Scotland’s Future, Macwhirter outlines his view of the steps he believes Scotland and England will take after the referendum.

16:30    Sweet Potato & Callaloo – Jackie Kay introduces a vibrant generation of writers and poets whose work has its roots in the Caribbean.  Part of the Empire Café series.

17:00    The Voices in Our Head – Nathan Filer, Edward Carey and Matthew Quick talk about their relationships with their characters and their inner voices exploring how a writer hears and channels the creative voice that drives a narrative or character.  Part of ‘Conversations with Ourselves’.

20:00    Letters Live – Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note celebrates the humble magic of the lost art of letter writing. Joining Usher to read and discuss their favourites are Patrick Kennedy, Lisa Dwan, Jackie Kay, John Lloyd, Richard Herring, Bridget Christie, Richard Holloway, Lucy Porter and Simon Garfield

20:30    Zoe Howe – Howe talks to Vic Galloway about her no-holds-barred tale of cult Scottish band The Jesus and Mary Chain.

To Look Out For Tomorrow- Sunday 10th August 2014:

 12:00    Margaret MacMillan – This week when we commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI, MacMillan explains the motivations and mistakes that tipped us into the Great War.

 13:30    Jung Chang – Charting the life of the woman that dragged China into the modern age, Chang offers a fascinating account of the birth of modern China

16:30    Judith Kerr & Matthew Kneale – Acclaimed author and illustrator Judith Kerr is joined by her son, novelist Matthew Kneale to discuss creative heritage and inheritance.  What travels with us from childhood to form the adults we become?

 18:30    Rowan Williams – Presenting a moving and uplifting new collection of poetry, Williams explores moments of human transformation, whether in body or in spirit.

 19:00    Dialogue 1:  Commonwealth – Scottish novelist Louise Welsh, Indian writer Meena Kandasamy and Jamaican-born Geoff Palmer ask what the Commonwealth can tell us about post-referendum Scotland.

 20:00    Kirsty Walk – One of the nominees for the Book Festival’s First Book Award, Wark presents her debut novel The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle.