With a prize of £20,000, the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award is one of the largest in the UK. In the short time the biennial prize has been running (in 2014, 2016 and 2018), it has already established itself as a platform for the discovery of fine new poets. Previous judges have included Jackie Kay, Stewart Conn and Janice Galloway.
Glenday says, ‘I’m very much looking forward to co-judging the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award this year. In effect, I’m being offered a sneak preview of some of the finest young Scottish poets on the scene today – what a gift!’
Jamie says, ‘Though a judge’s role is eventually to choose a winner, it’s the reading I’m looking forward to. It’ll be a wonderful chance to feel the pulse of Scottish poetry, to know it’s in good hands, and discover what’s going on out there.’
To enter, poets must submit an unpublished collection of poetry; it can be submitted if it has been accepted for publication so long as the collection doesn’t appear in print by the time of the announcement of the Prize, which will take place at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August. The runner-up will receive £2,500 and other shortlisted poets £1,000.
Poets should be no older than 30 years of age on the first day of January in the year of the Award, i.e. 1 January 2020 for the 2020 Award. Furthermore, those taking part must either have been born in Scotland, or continuously resident in Scotland for the last three years, or brought up in Scotland, or have a Scottish parent.
For further details of how to apply, visit the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award website.
John Glenday studied English at the University of Edinburgh, but left without graduating to train as a psychiatric nurse and later worked for many years in addictions counselling. His first collection, The Apple Ghost, published in 1989, won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award. His second, Undark, published in 1995, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His third collection, Grain, was also a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize. His most recent collection, The Golden Mean was shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year, and won the 2015 Roehampton Poetry Prize.
Kathleen Jamie is a poet, essayist and travel writer. She has been Professor of Poetry at the University of Stirling since 2010. She was raised in Currie in Midlothian. She has published several award-winning collections of poetry, a travel book, and three books of essays, while a poem of hers was chosen by the public to be carved on a huge wooden beam on the national monument at Bannockburn. Since 2010, she has held a part-time post as Professor of Poetry at the University of Stirling.
The deadline for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award is 2 March.