Major new poetry prize for young Scottish poets announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Details of a major new poetry prize for young Scottish poets were announced at a launch 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The Edwin Morgan Poetry Award of £20,000 will be awarded biennially for the best collection of poems, published or unpublished, by a young Scottish poet under the age of thirty.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 (1920-2010), and a Trust has been established in his name to administer the award and further promote poetry in Scotland.

The judges of the first award, which will be made in 2014, were named as 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 by Jim McGonigal, another of the Trustees and Edwin Morgan’s biographer, of Morgan’s poem ‘Opening the Cage’.

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

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