2020 Costa Award Winners, Perthshire Poet Now A Makar – Poetry News Roundup January 6th

Today’s poetry news roundup looks at the winners of the 2020 Costa Book Awards and the Perthshire poet who has been made a makar.

Costa Book Awards 2020 – Winners Announced

The winners of the 2020 Costa Book Awards for the five different categories have been announced and this year has been a resounding success for Indies.

Each of the category winners will each receive a cash prize of £5000. The winners were announced on 4th January and were selected from a field of 708 entries. On 26th January one of the five category winners will be named as the Costa Book of the Year and receive a further prize worth £30,000.

The poetry prize this year has been won by the Irish poet Eavan Boland who sadly died in April 2020. The Historians was her final poetry collection and has received much acclaim from the judges who described it as “an extraordinary book” saying that they felt that it contained some of the very finest lines of poetry that had been written this century.

The prize is open to those writers who live in Ireland or the UK.

The winner of the Costa Book of the Year will be selected by a judging panel which will include the judges of the five individual categories, a chair and a further three guest judges. This year the announcement of regarding the winner will be made during an award ceremony that will take place virtually and will be hosted by Penny Smith, the broadcaster and presenter. The winner of the Costa Short Story Award will also be announced during the same ceremony. This is an award that is voted for by the general public. Voting in this category is open until 8th January. The three shortlisted writers are anonymous in order to allow for completely impartial judging.

Eavan Boland is the third poet to have been awarded the Costa Poetry Award since the awards’ inception in 1971 when they were known as the Whitbread Book Awards. She follows in the footsteps of Ted Hughes and Helen Dunmore. Both poets went on to posthumously win the Costa Book of the Year Award.

Perth Poet Gets Shield and New Title

Jim Mackintosh, a Perthshire poet who has spent many years marking the life of Hamish Henderson the Blairgowrie poet has been announced as “Makar” for 2021.

The poet who has received his shield and title from the Federation of Writers, Scotland said he was “fair chuffed” with the appointment. He was officially installed in the position in December as part of the “Tinsel Tales” event.

Mackintosh is well known for writing in both English and Scots and his work is popular all over the world.

The role of makar is mainly ambassadorial, but Jim also has important duties including judging the FWS competition and empowering writers at whatever stage of their careers.

Mackintosh is also the current Makar of the Cateran EcoMuseum, a museum that has no walls and is dedicated to the treasures and landscape of the Angus glens and east Perthshire.

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