Still a bit bleary-eyed after getting back from London in the middle of the night, having been to the Forward Prize announcement. Not the best of journeys, but even the vagaries of Britain’s railway system couldn’t ruin a really enjoyable day.
You may well have seen by now that Mick Imlah took the Best Collection Prize for The Lost Leader – I’ve only skimmed it so far, but will be taking it with me when I’m away next week for a proper read. I don’t think there’ll be too much argument – from what I’ve read so far, it looks like a worthy winner. It’s terrible to read of his illness, though.
Best First Collection went to Kathryn Simmonds, for her Sunday At The Skin Launderette. That might have qualified as something of a surprise, because I’d guess that most people’s money was on Frances Leviston, but I think this would have been the closest category of all. Anyway, Kathryn’s book was my favourite of those I’ve read, so I was pleased by her win.
Best Individual Poem was won by Don Paterson’s Love Poem For Natalie ‘Tusja’ Beridze. I think Roddy Lumsden hit the nail on the head by describing it as a ‘Marmite poem’ – most readers will either love it or hate it. I’m not a big fan myself, and would like to have seen Tim Turnbull’s Ode On A Grayson Perry Urn win, but never mind.
Anyway, it was good to finally meet Roddy in person, and to chat with some of the judges, publishers and other poets. Congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted poets.