Shortlist Announcement for the Wigtown Poetry Prize

26 September 2022

The shortlist has been unveiled for Scotland’s annual three-language international Wigtown Poetry Prize. The prize aims to nurture and reward excellent poetry in each of Scotland’s indigenous languages – English, Gaelic and Scots.

Poetry and the richness of our languages are fundamental to Scottish culture and identity and the Wigtown Poetry Prize is widely recognised as promoting and nurturing both.

Simply reaching the shortlist is a tremendous achievement – proving that your work is among the best that has been submitted.

In addition to the £1,500 Wigtown Prize (which is open to entries in all three languages), there are separate awards for poems in Scots and Gaelic. There are also the Alastair Reid Pamphlet Prize and the Dumfries and Galloway Fresh Voice Award, for poets living in, or from, the region who have never professionally published a full length collection.

This year the winners will be revealed at a special event on Saturday, 1 October, which takes place as part of the Wigtown Book Festival. The shortlists are:

Wigtown Prize

William Hershaw, from Lochgelly, for Tae Naesayers O Life And Leid
Suzanna Fitzpatrick, from Orpington, for Pandemic Prayer
Julie Laing, from Glasgow, for Calving
Craig Aitchison, from Galashiels, for Searoom
Norte Rin, from Spain, for My Father Did Not Come Back

Wigtown Scottish Gaelic Prize

Martin MacIntyre, from Edinburgh, for Dithis Bhoireannach air Trèan
Ian Macrae, from Glasgow, for Sgitheach
Rody Gorman, from Skye, for Triall and Moch gu Abhainn

Wigtown Scots Prize

Irene Howat, from Ayr for The Lintie
Craig Aitchison, from Galashiels, for The Searoom
Robert Duncan, from Newcastle, for Pyot
Joan Fraser, from Brae, for Here aalwiss
Colin Mackenzie, from Dumfries, for Anent Braidskeg

Dumfries & Galloway Fresh Voice Award

Sara Pitt, from Castle Douglas
Andrew Murray, from Cummertrees
Gwen Dupre, from Lockerbie
Jane McBeth, from Castle Douglas

Alastair Reid Pamphlet Prize

Milena Williamson, from Belfast, for Touchy Feely
Wes Lee, from New Zealand, for Voice
Bridget Khursheed, from Melrose, for The Confinement
Neil Thomson, from Glasgow, for Athajimo
Sarah Leavesley, from Droitwich, for Rain Falling
Roger West, from Glasgow, for Consider the Song of the Cicada
Peter Daniels, from London, for Happy and Fortunate
Laura Brown, from Dunfermline, for Spring Appears.

The judges for 2022 are Trinidadian Scottish writer of poetry and non-fiction Vahni (Anthony Ezekiel) Capildeo FRSL, Anne C Frater who grew up in Upper Bayble, Isle of Lewis, in a home and a community where Gaelic was the main language and Brian Holton who translates poetry and prose from modern and classical Chinese into English and Scots, and Galloway-based poet Hugh McMillan.

2022 Prize details

Wigtown Prize: £1,500, runner-up: £200. Judge Vahni Capildeo.

Wigtown Scots Prize: £500, runner-up: £200. Judge Brian Holton.

Wigtown Scottish Gaelic Prize: £500, runner-up: £200. Judge Anne C Frater.

Dumfries & Galloway Fresh Voice Award: Professional support including mentoring from Wigtown Festival Company and a retreat at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre. Judge Hugh McMillan.

Alastair Reid Pamphlet Prize: Production of a pamphlet set by Gerry Cambridge. 

Invitation to Read at StAnza 2023: A winner of one or more categories will be selected at the discretion of StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival, and Wigtown Festival Company.

The Wigtown Poetry Prize takes place in association with The Gaelic Books Council, Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre, The Saltire Society, The Scottish Poetry Library and StAnza (Scotland's International Poetry Festival).