A nationwide poetry competition reaches its final stanza as the shortlist is announced for the NLS Callum Macdonald Memorial Award. The award, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, recognises publishing skill in the field of poetry pamphlets.
The NLS award is funded by the Michael Marks charitable trust, in memory of Scottish literary publisher Callum Macdonald, and is administered in association with his widow, Tessa Ransford OBE.
Of 41 entries received from all over Scotland, the following were shortlisted for the prestigious award:
- 'And for that minute', by Leonard McDermid, published by Stichill Marigold Press, based in Kelso
- 'Arc O Möns' by Christie Williamson, published by Hansel Cooperative Press, based in Edinburgh
- 'One bird flying' by Lesley Harrison, published by Mariscat Press, based in Edinburgh
- 'Part truths', by Michael Pedersen, published by Koo Press, based in Aberdeen
- 'Skirlags', by Nalini Paul, published by Red Squirrel Press, based in Orkney
- 'Songs from a dying village', by Tom Pow, published by Pueblo Press, based in Dumfries
- 'Galilee to Gallicantu', by Anne B Murray, published by Terra Firma Press, based in Glasgow.
Tessa Ransford OBE, said: 'This year, more than ever, it was hard to narrow the field down to this shortlist. The pamphlets the judges have chosen show a spirit of adventure in every aspect: concept and execution, poetry and production, originality of design and sensitive use of typography.'
Fellow judge and 2009 winner for 'Postcards from the Hedge', Hugh Bryden, said: 'I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised at the quality of production and poetry throughout all of the entries, which made the business of picking a shortlist very challenging.'
The award 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.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the award, the previous nine winners will have their work displayed alongside the 2010 winner at the National Library of Scotland for the poetry-loving public to enjoy.
Martyn Wade, National Librarian, adds: 'It is fantastic that this competition can help raise the profile of the wonderful tradition of poetry pamphlet publishing and we are pleased to support it. We particularly look forward to the awards ceremony in this, the tenth year of the competition, and also to adding this year's entries to the National Library of Scotland's collection.'
Winners will be announced in a ceremony at the National Library of Scotland on Wednesday 19 May. All of the entries will be on display at the event, where the winner stands to receive £750 in prize money and custody of the Callum Macdonald Memorial Quaich.
National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Tel: 0131 623 3700
21 April 2010