Zoë Skoulding wins the Poetry Category in Wales Book of the Year 2020

3 August 2020 - 02:26pm

Zoë Skoulding wins the Poetry Category in Wales Book of the Year 2020

3 August 2020 - 02:26pm

On Friday 31 July, it was announced that Zoë Skoulding and her collection Footnotes to Water have won the poetry category in the Wales Book of the Year 2020. The English language winners were announced in a special awards programme on BBC Radio Wales hosted by Nicola Heywood Thomas. 

Zoë was shortlisted alongside two other titles, Erato by Deryn Rees-Jones and Fur Coats in Tahiti by Jeremy Over (Carcanet). We were delighted to host all three poets at a special online reading last week ahead of the announcement which you can watch back here.

Speaking about her win, Zoë said: "I'm delighted by this award, especially as Footnotes to Water is in conversation with Wales in all sorts of ways. Some of the poems grew out of dialogues with artists Ben Stammers and Miranda Whall, whose work explores Welsh landscapes through visual and performance art, while my own thinking about place and its relationships developed while I was editing Poetry Wales. I'm also glad that this award – and the shortlist – recognises the excellent work done by Seren Books in sustaining English-language poetry's role in Wales's cultural life."

Amy Wack, poetry editor at Seren added: "Zoë Skoulding's wonderfully inventive and subtly musical work remains both challenging and delightful, so pleased she has won this prize." Lleucu Siencyn, CEO of Literature Wales, also commented that Zoë's work "always feels fresh and new." 

The winner of English-language Book of the Year was Niall Griffiths with his novel Broken Ghost (Jonathan Cape) and Babel by Ifan Morgan Jones (Y Lolfa) was the overall winner of the Welsh-language award.

Speaking about the awards, Lleucu Siencyn said: “Wales Book of the Year is one of the highlights of our cultural calendar, and this year more than ever we are extremely pleased to be able to continue to shine a light on our incredible literary talents. Literature helps to guide us through our darkest hours, as well as bringing joy and hope to readers of all ages. Wales consistently produces excellent writers, and this Award is testament to this each year. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!”

Wales Book of the Year is an annual award hosted by Literature Wales. Other categories include Fiction, Creative Non-fiction and, new for this year, Children and Young People. You can see the full list of winners in both Welsh and English on the Literature Wales website