Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jo Shapcott Wins 2010 Costa Book Of The Year

Press Release -  Tuesday 25 Jan 2011

Poet Jo Shapcott has won the 2010 Costa Book of the Year for her collection Of Mutability, her first new work in over a decade and in part influenced by her experience of breast cancer. The announcement was made this evening (Tuesday 25th January) at an awards ceremony held at Quaglino's in central London.

This is the second consecutive year a collection of poetry has won the Costa Book of the Year. Christopher Reid took the prize last year for A Scattering, a tribute to his wife Lucinda Gane following her death in 2005.

Shapcott beat bookmakers' favourite, potter and ceramic artist Edmund de Waal for his best-selling memoir, The Hare With Amber Eyes, novelist Maggie O'Farrell for The Hand That First Held Mine, debut writer Kishwar Desai for Witness the Night and first-time children's author Jason Wallace for Out of Shadows, to win the overall prize and a cheque for £30,000 at the awards ceremony.

Following the judging, Andrew Neil, chair of the final judges, said: "We were captivated by the poetry in this special, original, compassionate, uplifting and accessible book that readers will go back to again and again."

Neil chaired a final judging panel that included actors David Morrissey and Elizabeth McGovern, broadcasters Natasha Kaplinsky and Anneka Rice, poet Ruth Padel, novelist Adele Parks, writer Juliet Nicolson and children's author, Tim Bowler.

The Costa Book Awards recognise the most enjoyable books of the last year by writers based in the UK and Ireland. Originally established by Whitbread PLC in 1971, Costa announced its takeover of the sponsorship of the UK's prestigious and popular book prize in 2006.

Of Mutability, published by Faber and Faber, is the seventh collection of poetry to take the overall prize. Since the introduction of the Book of the Year award in 1985, it has been won nine times by a novel, four times by a first novel, five times by a biography, seven times by a collection of poetry and once by a children's book.

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