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The Michael Marks Awards For Poetry Pamphlets
A major new award for UK poets and their publishers is launched by the British Library, in partnership with the Poetry Book Society and with the generous support of the Michael Marks Charitable Trust.
The first UK Poetry Pamphlet Awards will highlight the importance of the pamphlet form in introducing new poetry to readers and the continuing vibrancy of the print pamphlet in the internet age.
Books of 36 pages or less are where new poetry often first meets its audience ? slim volumes allow readers to savour a concentrated gathering or carefully paced sequence of poems. Poetry pamphlets can be exquisitely designed, with striking visual qualities that form a strong part of the meaning of the book as a whole. Small press publishers have been at the forefront of developing new audiences for poetry through such attractive and innovative publications.
The Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets will offer two awards of £5,000 for the following categories:
Poetry Award ? for an outstanding work of poetry published in pamphlet form in the UK during 2008.
Publishers' Award ? for an outstanding UK publisher of poetry in pamphlet form, on the basis of their publishing programme in 2008.
The awards will be judged by poet and performer Ian McMillan (Chair), poet and author Jackie Kay and Richard Price, poet and Head of Modern British Collections at the British Library.
Closing date for submissions is 20 March 2009, with the winners to be announced at a celebratory event to be held at the British Library on 24th June. For details on entering see: or contact the Poetry Book Society, which will administer the awards, on 020 7833 9247.

Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney said, - These inspired awards recognise that the pamphlet has a fundamental importance in literary culture far exceeding anything suggested by the dictionary ? a brief publication, generally having a paper cover - For many of the best poets now writing it was not only their first means of distribution but the first ratification of their gift.
Richard Price, the British Library's Head of Modern British Collections, said - The pamphlet is often the place where the poet can make the fullest impact on the reader, whether it's a well-judged showcase of a new poet's range or the powerful concentrate of a themed sequence. The form embraces all traditions: Philip Larkin, Bob Cobbing, Ted Hughes, J H Prynne, Carol Ann Duffy, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Penelope Shuttle, Tom Leonard, Kathleen Jamie, Simon Armitage and Daljit Nagra have all used the short form with aplomb.
The current boom in performance poetry ? as with the revival of the live music scene ? provides poets with the opportunity to make a direct connection with their audience and the pamphlet is very often what audience members will physically take away from that experience. Far from making pamphlets obsolete, the internet has provided a limitless shop window for a new generation of small presses and micropublishers, and these awards are an opportunity for us to celebrate the finest examples of this continuing tradition.

The UK Poetry Pamphlet Awards are funded by the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, which was established in 1966 by the late Lord Marks second Baron of Broughton in order to support Culture and the Environment.
Marina, Lady Marks said, "These awards for Pamphlet Poetry are part of our commitment to promote the value of cultural creativity. Since its inception in the 12th century the pamphlet's great strength and social significance has lain in its ability to address and influence both elite and popular culture. The pamphlet was the medium which spread creative political, philosophical, scientific and artistic thinking of some of the most influential people and movements in England and across the world."
She added - We hope that these awards will motivate poets and visual artists to create objects of singular beauty to delight, educate, inspire and uplift the reader. In making these awards possible we are delighted to collaborate with the British Library and the Poetry Book Society. For enquiries and submission guidelines, please contact Hilary Davidson, Awards Administrator or Chris Holifield at the Poetry Book Society, Fourth Floor, 2 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9RA.

Online submission forms at;

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