Thursday, January 28, 2010

Poet Wins Costa Book Prize

The Costa Book Prize Winner was revealed earlier this week and the winner was not the favourite Colm Tobin with his novel Brooklyn but poet Christopher Reid (above) for his collection A Scattering published by small press Areté Books. This is the fourth time a poet has won the prize and Christopher Reid follows in the footsteps of Douglas Dunn, Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney. Guardian report.

Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won nine times by a novel, four times by a first novel, five times by a biography, five times by a collection of poetry and once by a children's book.

Reid, aged 60, lost his wife Lucinda Gane to cancer in 2005. A Scattering consists of four poetic sequences, the first written when his wife is alive and they are on holiday in Crete and the other three - 'Sparse breaths, then none - /and it was done' - after her death.

He picks up, in total, a £30,000 prize and an great increase in readership for a book which has sold fewer than 1,000 copies up to now. Guardian review of A Scattering here.

I haven't read the collection so that's another on the must read list. I did read Tobin's Brooklyn and was not impressed by it.

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