With a prize of £20,000, the biennial Edwin Morgan Poetry Award is one of the largest in the UK. Scotland’s first modern Makar Edwin Morgan specified that the award, which is funded through his estate, should be given to a Scottish poet under the age of thirty. Never forgetting his difficulties in his early years as a poet, he wanted to lend a helping hand to promising poets at what can be a discouraging period in their career.
The Edwin Morgan Trust is delighted to announce the poets shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award 2020.
- COLIN BRAMWELL is a poet, performer and musician from the Black Isle. His first pamphlet of poems will be published in early 2021 by Stewed Rhubarb Press. Currently, he is working towards a PhD in Scots and literary translation at the University of St Andrews.
- MICHAEL GRIEVE lives in Fife where he works as a bookseller. He is a graduate of the Universities of St Andrews and Cambridge, and his work has appeared in The Scores, Magma, and Perverse. His pamphlet Luck is published by HappenStance.
- DAVID LINKLATER is a poet from Balintore (Balti / The Bleaching Town) in Easter Ross. His work has appeared in Gutter, Glasgow Review of Books, DMQ Review and SPAM, among others. His pamphlet Black Box is published by Speculative Books. He lives and writes in Glasgow.
- PAUL MALGRATI is a Glasgow-biding poet from France, writing verse in Scots and French. He recently completed a PhD in Scottish literature at the University of St Andrews and now works within the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow. In 2019, his first poems appeared in several magazines and books, including The Darg.
- ALYCIA PIRMOHAMED is the author of two pamphlets, Hinge (ignitionpress) and Faces that Fled the Wind (BOAAT Press). Her work can be found in The Paris Review Daily, Guernica Magazine, The Poetry Review, and others. Alycia is the co-founder of the Scottish BAME Writers Network.
- KIRSTEN KERR is a Glasgow-based poet, originally from Aberdeen. Writing about people, nature and place, her poetry often returns to that wee glint of magic in the everyday.
- STEWART SANDERSON is a poet from Glasgow, currently based in the West Midlands, where he works as a local authority Arts Development Officer. The recipient of an Eric Gregory Award, as well as Robert Louis Stevenson and Jessie Kesson Fellowships, his most recent pamphlet is An Offering (Tapsalteerie, 2018).
The 2020 judges poets Kathleen Jamie and John Glenday say, ‘Not only is it Morgan’s centenary year (we would have loved to read the poem he would have written for that, as he did for his eightieth!) but it is also a year of unprecedented global challenge. So, it is doubly relevant that we remember Morgan’s bequest was designed to encourage young talent to blossom. The difficulties of today mean we will need the poets of tomorrow as never before.’
Previous winners are Niall Campbell (2014), Penny Boxall (2016) and Roseanne Watt (2020). This year’s winner will be announced at a special online event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. In addition to the winner’s £20,000 prize, the runner-up is awarded £2,500 while each of the shortlisted poets receives £1,000.
The Chair of the Edwin Morgan Trust, Professor David Kinloch, says, ‘The health crisis has displaced many of the more conventional celebrations planned to mark Morgan’s centenary but he would not have been disappointed if it means that the focus on poetry itself – his poetry and that of the young poets on the shortlist – is intensified. For it is these careful and caring words that matter above all else.’