Andrew McMillan is first poet to win £10,000 Guardian book award
Andrew McMillan has become the first poet to win the £10,000 Guardian first book award with his debut collection, physical, it was announced on Wednesday. The Guardian’s books editor, Claire Armitstead, said that it was “only the second time a poet has even made the shortlist”. She added: “It’s a thrilling development for us as poetry so rarely breaks through in generalist prizes.” Born in 1988, McMillan is the son of poet Ian McMillan, presenter of the long-running Radio 3 programme The Verb. He dedicated the collection to his parents. Physical recently won the Fenton Aldeburgh first collection award. The collection is also on the shortlist for the Costa poetry prize, and was also shortlisted for the Forward prize for best first collection.
At a reading celebrating gay poetry at the Poetry Library earlier this year, McMillan spoke of his admiration for the poet Thom Gunn, “the enduring love of my life”. Of his own work, he said: “I didn’t set out to write gay poetry – it’s just love poetry and confessional poetry.”