Paul Muldoon wins £5,000 Michael Marks pamphlet award
Paul Muldoon has won the £5,000 Michael Marks award for poetry for his pamphlet Binge, it was announced on Monday night. Binge is published by The Lifeboat Press. The judges’ comments after it made the shortlist spoke of their delight at “the great energy and inventiveness of these poems, their formal and linguistic brio and the emu-like way they seem to digest almost any subject matter.
“Some poems address landscape and life in Northern Ireland, others address friends and alert us to wonders and strangeness around the globe. The poetry can be very much of the moment – the title poem is a fantasia on a week’s news stories from The Times –, but it also ranges back across millennia of culture and history. Along the way, deadly serious observations rub against genuinely funny jokes. Paul Muldoon may be a long established presence, but this pamphlet is wonderfully fresh.”
Paul Muldoon was born in 1951 in Portadown, County Armagh. He is the author of a number of poetry collections, including New Weather (1973), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Quoof (1983), Meeting the British (1987), New Selected Poems: 1968-1994 (1996), Hay (1998), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), which won the Pulitzer prize and the Griffin poetry prize, Horse Latitudes (2006), and most recently One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (2015), Selected Poems 1968-2104 (2016), and Frolic and Detour (2019). He has also published collections of criticism, children’s books, opera libretti, song lyrics, and works for radio and television.
The Michael Marks awards for poetry pamphlets were established in 2009 to promote the pamphlet form and to enable poets and publishers to develop.
The winner of the poetry in a Celtic language award was Rhys Iorwerth for his pamphlet Carthen Denau. The winner of the Michael Marks award for illustration was Jamie McKendrick for his pamphlet The Years (Arc). For the first time the winner of this award is also a poet and was included on the poetry award shortlist. Broken Sleep Books won the publisher’s award.
PHOTOGRAPH: JOHN MINIHAN