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Isles writer wins national poetry award

Roseanna Watt.

SHETLAND poet Roseanne Watt has triumphed in a prestigious national poetry competition – netting £20,000 in the process.

The writer, who now lives in Edinburgh, won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award on Wednesday night at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The competition – which is for full-length, unpublished manuscripts – also had Shetlander Peter Ratter on its shortlist.

He picked up £1,000 for his efforts.

Judge Janice Galloway said Roseanne’s poems are “built from the sight, sound and heartbeat of land as much as from the sea and salted-away memory, alongside which we find the most complex and mysterious of human experiences”.

“This is a celebration of language, place and the mystery of being alive, alive, alive,” she added.

Fellow judge John Glenday said: “There’s a remarkably mature intelligence at work in these profound, assured and wilfully spare poems – Roseanne Watt’s is a truly individual and welcome voice.”

Roseanne is the poetry editor for the online literary magazine The Island Review, while she was also the winner of the 2015 Outspoken Poetry Prize (Poetry in Film) and a runner-up in the 2018 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award.

The biennial Edwin Morgan Poetry Award was set up by the Edwin Morgan Trust in honour of the late makar.

One of the largest literary prizes in the UK, the award is open to poets aged 30 or under.

 

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