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Aldeburgh First Collection Prize 2009 Winner announced | 07-Nov-09

Winner: J O Morgan, Natural Mechanical  

The book - which was also shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection Prize - comprises a single narrative poem recounting a childhood on the Isle of Skye. In a year attracting a record 92 entries, Aldeburgh judges (and poets) David Constantine, Mimi Khalvati and Michael Laskey (Chair) were unanimous in their final decision.

Mimi Khalvati said:  

"Such an engaging, affecting book. It effortlessly combines different verse-forms: remarkable, particularly for a first collection, in deftly tackling a book-length narrative, and also refreshing in its sense of tradition."

Michael Laskey said:

"We admired this book for its live language and sophisticated story-telling, but we loved it for its generosity, its unsentimental celebration of a disadvantaged boy making good."

Responding to news of his win, J O Morgan (31) said:  

"I've never thought of it as a prize-winning book. I had hoped it might affect people in the way books have affected me in the past. That?s all I've ever wanted from any of the works I've undertaken. I really hope the book continues to be enjoyed by many more people."

In addition to a £3,000 cheque, J O Morgan receives an invitation to read at next year's Aldeburgh Poetry Festival (5-7 November 2010), plus a week's paid protected writing time on the inspirational East Suffolk coast.

Further information, contact: Alice Kent, 01986 835950 or email





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