A poetic tour of Edinburgh and the tanneries of Renfrewshire are the subjects of prize-winning poetry rewarded last night at the National Library of Scotland. Duncan Glen of Kirkcaldy and Hazel Cameron of Ripon, Yorkshire, shared the winning prize at the eighth annual Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. Glen's 'Edinburgh Poems' is published by Akros publications, whilst Hazel Cameron's 'The Currying Shop' is published by Imago Media.
The winners were announced at a ceremony held at the National Library of Scotland on Wednesday 7 May, with each taking a prize of £375 as well as shared custody of the Callum Macdonald Memorial Quaich.
Of the winning entries, the judging panel said: 'The two pamphlets contrast in theme and presentation, as indicated by their covers: one daring and challenging, the other restrained and lyrical. The poetry in both is of a high quality. One evokes ever-poetic Edinburgh, but with subversive humour. "The Currying Shop", meanwhile, explores a different, more rural yet industrially historical part of Scotland. The standard of production in both is extremely high.'
There were 47 entries from every corner of Scotland, from Edinburgh to Arran, Glasgow to Gairloch, Wick to Dumfries, and beyond with entries from Northumberland, Yorkshire and Wales. Commenting on the overall strength of the field, the judges added: 'This year we received 47 wonderful pamphlets, manifesting varied voices, languages, approaches and aims, all delighting and intriguing. As ever, the choice of a winner was extremely difficult.'
The Callum Macdonald Memorial Award is given in recognition of publishing skill and effort in the field of poetry pamphlets. The award was created by the National Library in memory of Scottish literary publisher Callum Macdonald, and is administered in association with Tessa Ransford, former Director of the Scottish Poetry Library and Callum Macdonald's widow. All Scottish publishers of poetry in pamphlet form are eligible to apply. The award is supported by the Michael Marks Charitable Trust.
The award also aims to encourage the preservation of printed material of this kind and all entries submitted are taken into the collections of the National Library of Scotland. As a result the Library currently holds nearly 300 of the finest contemporary Scottish poetry pamphlets in its collections.
National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Tel: 0131 623 3700
8 May 2008