Annal: 2009 Costa Book Award for Poetry

Results of the Costa Book Award in the year 2009.

Book:A Scattering

A Scattering

Christopher Reid

Lucinda Gane, Christopher Reid’s wife, died in October 2005. A Scattering is his tribute to her and consists of four poetic sequences, the first written during her illness, and the other three at intervals after her death. A Scattering is described by Adam Newey in The Guardian as “A beautiful book... [that] performs the miracle of bringing the dead back to life.”

Book:Angels Over Elsinore

Angels Over Elsinore: Collected Verse 2003-2008

Clive James

Well-known for his prose, as well as his TV appearances, Clive James has also established a name for himself in the world of poetry. His previous collections, “Other Passports” and “The Book of My Enemy”, were critically acclaimed and accomplished, yet simultaneously accessible and entertaining—and his new book promises more of the same. Bringing together poems written over the last five years, “Angels over Elsinore” is impressive not only in terms of its execution, but also in terms of its scope and versatility.

Book:Darwin: A Life in Poems

Darwin: A Life in Poems

Ruth Padel

This remarkable book brings us an intimate and moving interpretation of the life and work of Charles Darwin, by Ruth Padel, an acclaimed British poet and a direct descendant of the famous scientist.

Charles Darwin, born in 1809, lost his mother at the age of eight, repressed all memory of her, and poured his passion into solitary walks, newt collecting, and shooting. His five-year voyage on H.M.S. Beagle, when he was in his twenties, changed his life. Afterward, he began publishing his findings and working privately on groundbreaking theories about the development of animal species, including human beings, and he made a nervous proposal to his cousin Emma.

Padel’s poems sparkle with nuance and feeling as she shows us the marriage that ensued, and the rich, creative atmosphere the Darwins provided for their ten children. Charles and Emma were happy in each other, but both were painfully aware of the…[more]

Book:One Eye'd Leigh

One Eye'd Leigh

Katharine Kilalea

Written by one of poetry’s most original and gifted young voices, this collection of portraits and experiments embraces both the ordinary and the surreal in its attempt to make sense of an ever-changing, often disorienting world. Offering a wry approach to love and relationships, the poems are woven with a thread of romances spanning the author’s native South Africa and her adopted home of London. At times playful and at others deeply moving, the verses reflect on everyday forms, imagining that the geometry of a chair, for example, might more accurately express love than the traditional lines of a sonnet. With familiar and uncomplicated language, these delicately crafted poems present a truly unique perspective on the mundane and marvelous aspects of life.

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