The Edwin Morgan Trust and the Scottish Poetry Library are delighted to announce the poets shortlisted for the 2018 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award. In alphabetical order:
- Tom Docherty
- Nadine Aisha Jassat
- Daisy Lafarge
- Peter Ratter
- Roseanne Watt
With a prize of £20,000, the biennial Edwin Morgan Poetry Award is one of the largest in the UK. Before his death in 2010, Edwin Morgan requested any prize set up in his name and funded through his estate should reward the work of a Scottish poet under the age of thirty. The poets are shortlisted on the basis of an unpublished collection of poems. Poet John Glenday and novelist Janice Galloway read through sixty-plus entries and after much debate put together a shortlist of five. The winner will be announced at a special event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Wednesday 22 August.
For those unfamiliar with the shortlisted poets:
Tom Docherty is a poet from Hamilton who has recently finished a PhD on the poetry of Geoffrey Hill at the University of Cambridge. His poetry was included in Carcanet’s anthology New Poetries VI.
Nadine Aisha Jassat is a writer and poet based in Edinburgh. She was shortlisted for the Outspoken London Poetry Prize (Poetry in Film) 2018 with ‘Hopscotch’, and received a Scottish Book Trust New Writers’ Award 2018. Her debut collection will be published by award-winning publisher 404 Ink next year.
Daisy Lafarge is a writer and editor based in Edinburgh. In 2017 she received an Eric Gregory Award, and her pamphlet understudies for air was published by Sad Press. She is a PhD researcher at the University of Glasgow and an editor at MAP, a platform for artist-led publishing and production.
Peter Ratter was born and lives in the Shetland Isles. He received first prize both in the Scottish Place Names Competition organised by Glasgow University and the Inspired? Get Writing! Scottish poetry competition, both in 2012. His work has appeared in The New Shetlanderand The Scotsman.
Roseanne Watt is a poet, filmmaker and musician from Shetland. She is poetry editor for the online literary magazine The Island Review. Roseanne was the winner of the 2015 Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry in Film, and runner-up in the 2018 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. She lives and works in Edinburgh.
The winner of the 2018 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award follows in the footsteps of previous winners Niall Campbell (2014) and Penny Boxall (2016). After Niall Campbell won the EMPA, his debut collection Moontide went on to win the Saltire Society’s First Book of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. He is one of this year’s Forward Prize judges. Campbell says of his win in 2014: ‘The award allowed me 21 months away from work to concentrate on writing. I used this extra time away from work to write. And to read more than I would have. And to accept offers of readings which I might not otherwise have been able to accept.’
For further news about the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, watch the SPL’s website and social media.