National Library Scotland Pamphlet Poetry Finalists Announced

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The award, which this year received a record number of entries, recognises, encourages and rewards the publication of poetry in pamphlet form where the pamphlet or its publisher has a connection with Scotland or Scottish Culture.


The shortlist is as follows:  


  • An Illustrated Book About Birds by Anna Davis, published by Anna Davis


  • Figure in Landscape by Anna Crowe, published by Mariscat Press


  • Venti by JoAnne McKay, published by JoAnne McKay


  • Countervailing by David Betteridge, published by Rhizome Press


  • Lost at Sea by Jean Atkin, published by Roncadora Press


  • Threading a Viking by Sheena Berry, published by Sheena Watson



The winner and runner-up will be announced at a ceremony at the National Library of Scotland on Wednesday 19 May, when all the entries will also be displayed. The publisher of the winning pamphlet will be presented with a cheque for £750 and will hold the Callum Macdonald Quaich for 12 months.  


This year the poet in the winning pamphlet will also be Michael Marks Poet in Residence at the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece for two weeks in July 2011, joined by the winner of the Michael Marks Poetry Award, presented by the British Library.  


The NLS award is funded by the Michael Marks Charitable Trust, in memory of Scottish literary publisher and printer Callum Macdonald MBE, and is administered in association with his widow, Tessa Ransford OBE.


Tessa Ransford said: "This year we received a great variety of excellent entries,  each showing a real flair for design and typography which was sympathetic to the content. Although the judging was difficult, the unanimity among the judges was reassuring."


The award aims to encourage the preservation of printed material of this kind and all entries submitted are taken into the collections of the National Library of Scotland. As a result the Library currently holds nearly 400 of the finest contemporary Scottish pamphlets in its collections.


Martyn Wade, National Librarian and Chief Executive Officer, adds: "We are delighted to support the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award for the 11th year. As well as providing a very good indication of the variety and good health of pamphlet poetry today, the shortlist also highlights the important contribution of poets and pamphlet publishers to the world of poetry in Scotland and beyond through this kind of publishing."




Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of the National Library of Scotland  

Notes to editors

About the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award

The annual Callum Macdonald Memorial Award was established in 2001 in memory of Callum Macdonald MBE, Scottish literary publisher and founder of Macdonald Publishers and Printers. Its aim is to encourage, recognise and reward the publication of poetry in pamphlet form.

The Callum Macdonald Memorial Award is supported by the Michael Marks Charitable Trust. The award is administered by the National Library of Scotland.

Entries must be:

· No less than six or more than 36 pages in length, not including preliminaries

· Bound with a limp cover, and folded, rather than case bound

· In any of the languages used in Scotland, with translations into English or Scots where relevant

· Published in the calendar year preceding the current award.

· Submitted in four copies of up to three pamphlets

· Include a short note explaining the aims of the publication and the aesthetic choices made, outlining the connection with Scotland or Scottish culture.

About the National Library of Scotland

· The National Library of Scotland is a major European research library and is the world’s leading centre for the study of Scotland and the Scots - an information treasure trove for Scotland’s knowledge, history and culture with millions of items.

· The Library’s collections are of world-class importance. Key areas include rare books, manuscripts, maps, music, moving images, official publications, business information, digital collections, science and technology, and the modern and foreign collections.

· The Library holds well over 14 million items, including printed items, approximately 100,000 manuscripts, over 32,000 films and nearly 2 million maps. Every week it collects approximately 6,000 new items. Around 80% of these are received free of charge in terms of the Legal Deposit legislation.

· See for further information about the Library and its collections