Major new poetry prize for young Scottish poets announced

Major new poetry prize for young Scottish poets announced

Details of a major new poetry prize for young Scottish poets were announced at a special launch event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival yesterday evening.

The Edwin Morgan Poetry Award of £20,000 will be awarded biennially for the best collection of poems, published or unpublished, by a young Scottish poet under the age of thirty.

The award is the result of a bequest by the late Scottish Makar, Edwin Morgan and a Trust has been established in his name to administer the award and further promote poetry in Scotland.

The first award, which will be made in 2014, will be judged by poets Stewart Conn and Jen Hadfield.

The launch event was chaired by the current Scottish Maker, Liz Lochhead, who brought together three of the winners of the Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition which the new award supersedes. Paul Batchelor, Jen Hadfield and Jane McKie each read from their work and discussed the challenges faced by young poets in the process of putting together a first collection.

David Kinloch, who announced the details of the award on behalf of the Trustees, said ‘This award is aimed at young poets partly because Edwin Morgan never forgot the difficulties that beset him as a young writer trying to get into print. We welcome any collections submitted for the award which can contain poems written in English, Scots or Gaelic.’

The event closed with a virtuoso reading of Morgan’s poem ‘Opening the Cage’ by Jim McGonigal, another of the award’s Trustees and Edwin Morgan’s biographer.

Full details of the award can be found at www.edwinmorganaward.com.

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