Pamphlet poetry award winners

Orkney inspiration for winning pamphlet

A poetry pamphlet inspired by the life of birds on Orkney has won a major national award that recognises excellence in poetry publishing.

'Ecstatics, A language of birds', published by Orkney-based Brae Editions, has won the 2012 National Library of Scotland Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. It recognises outstanding examples of pamphlet poetry publishing with a connection to Scotland or Scottish culture and this year has attracted 38 entries.

Alistair Peebles of Brae Editions was presented with a cheque for £800 at an award ceremony at the National Library of Scotland (NLS) in Edinburgh and will hold the Callum Macdonald Quaich for 12 months.

The winning pamphlet was chosen from a shortlist of seven finalists. It was written by Lesley Harrison whose poetry explores what it is like to live in remote places. She spent two years teaching at Eday on Orkney, where the migration and movement of birds provided the inspiration for the poems in the pamphlet. It is illustrated by a local artist, Laura Drever.

Lesley is also eligible for a separate prize of a two-week residency as the Michael Marks Poet in Residence Harvard University's Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece in July.

The runner up was 'Happyland' by William Hershaw, published by FRAS Publications who received a cheque for £300.

Martyn Wade, National Librarian and Chief Executive Officer of NLS, said: 'We are delighted to support the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award for the 12th year. Once again the quality of the entries demonstrates the continuing strength of pamphlet poetry publishing in Scotland.'

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

It 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 NLS.

18 May 2012

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