Pamphlet poetry shortlist

National Library of Scotland pamphlet poetry finalists announced

The National Library of Scotland has announced the shortlist for the 2012 Callum Macdonald Memorial Award.

The award recognises outstanding examples of pamphlet poetry publishing with a connection to Scotland or Scottish culture and this year has attracted 38 entries.

The shortlist is as follows:

  • 'Ecstatics, a language of birds', by Lesley Harrison and Laura Drever, published by Brae Editions
  • 'Happyland', by William Hershaw, published by FRAS Publications
  • 'Some consequences of saying yes', by Mary Thomson and published by Mary Thomson
  • 'A natural curiosity', by A C Clarke, published by New Voices Press
  • 'Upon a good high hill', by Helen Lawrenson, published by Perjink Press
  • 'Linked lines', by Hayden Murphy, published by Roncadora Press
  • 'Dain Do Shomhairle', by multiple authors, published by the Scottish Poetry Library and the Sorley MacLean Trust.

The winner and runner-up will be announced at a ceremony at the National Library of Scotland on 17 May, when all the entries will also be displayed. The publisher of the winning pamphlet will be presented with a cheque for £800 and will hold the Callum Macdonald Quaich for 12 months.

The author of the winning pamphlet will also be eligible for a separate prize of a two-week residency as the Michael Marks Poet in Residence at Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece in July.

The NLS award is funded by the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, in memory of Scottish literary publisher and printer Callum Macdonald MBE, and is administered in association with his widow, Tessa Ransford OBE.

Tessa Ransford said: 'The 38 entries this year range in theme from the Glasgow University Museum of Anatomy to Hadrian's Wall, from minimalism to discursiveness. They explore human emotion and embrace both Scots and Gaelic.'

The award promotes and encourages the publishing of Scottish pamphlet poetry. All entries become part of the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award archive held in the collections of the National Library of Scotland.

Martyn Wade, National Librarian and Chief Executive of NLS, said: 'Callum Macdonald played a key role in advancing the work of major Scottish poets, including Hugh MacDiarmid, Sydney Goodsir Smith and Norman MacCaig. It is a privilege for NLS to support this award in his name which recognises the continuing strength of pamphlet poetry in Scotland.'

18 April 2012

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