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Shortlist Announced for the Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets | 27-May-09

Shortlist Announced for the Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets

· Inaugural award attracts over 120 entries

· Judges dazzled by the quality of entries: "the pamphlet is the engine room, the test bed and the coal face of poetry in this country" (Ian McMillan)

The British Library has today (20 May) announced the shortlist for the Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets, in partnership with the Poetry Book Society and with the generous support of the Michael Marks Charitable Trust.

The Awards aim to highlight the importance of the pamphlet form in introducing new poetry to readers and to celebrate the continuing vibrancy of the print pamphlet in the internet age. A total of six poets and four publishers from over 120 entries have been shortlisted for the two awards, worth £5,000 each. They are: 

Poetry Award shortlist ? for an outstanding work of poetry published in pamphlet form in the UK during 2008:

Bone Song by Polly Atkin (Aussteiger Publications)
The Shortest Days by Elizabeth Burns (Galdragon Press)
That Water Speaks in Tongues by Siobhán Campbell (Templar Poetry)
Milk by Sarah Jackson (Pighog)
whichever music by Kate Potts (tall-lighthouse)
quot by seekers of lice (self-published)  

Publishers' Award shortlist - for an outstanding UK publisher of poetry in pamphlet form, on the basis of their publishing programme in 2008:

HappenStance Press
Oystercatcher Press
tall-lighthouse
Templar Poetry 

The shortlist was judged by poet and performer Ian McMillan, poet and author Jackie Kay and Richard Price, poet and Head of Modern British Collections at the British Library.

Ian McMillan, Chair of the judges, said:

"I had a wonderful time judging the pamphlets and the quality of work sent in underlines my belief that the pamphlet is the engine room, the test bed and the coal face of poetry in this country. We've a very strong shortlist and we really are in an exciting time for the poetry pamphlet!"

Richard Price, Head of Modern British Collections at the British Library, said:

"The shortlisted poets demonstrate the breathtaking range of poetry being written in the UK today: lyrical, thought-provoking, tender and funny. What the shortlisted publishers show is that they are committed not just to the intimate pleasures, stimulation and solaces of poetry but to making sure more readers share in an art form that is clearly thriving in the UK."

The winners will be announced at a Readings and Award Ceremony at the British Library at 6.30pm on 24 June. Tickets are available from: http://www.bl.uk/whatson/events/event93762.html or from the box office on 01937 546 546.

Poems by the shortlisted poets can be read online and their poetry pamphlets are available for sale at www.poetrybookshoponline.com/pamphlets.

More information about the poetry pamphlets in the British Library's collections can be found at: http://www.bl.uk/poetrypamphlets.

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