John Freeman wins Wales Book of the Year for poetry

John Freeman

The winner of the Roland Mathias Poetry Award is Poetry Society Member John Freeman for his collection What Possessed Me (Worple Press) which explores childhood memories and lifelong relationships with humour, poignancy, and preternatural clarity.

The shortlist was:

What Possessed Me, John Freeman (Worple)
The Other City, Rhiannon Hooson (Seren)
Psalmody, Maria Apichella (Eyewear)

On the English-language judging panel this year are award-winning author, Tyler Keevil; Senior Lecturer Dimitra Fimi and the Costa Poetry Prize winner Jonathan Edwards. On behalf of the judging panel, Jonathan Edwards said:

“This year’s winning books are a real celebration of just how exciting, vibrant and diverse literature in Wales currently is. These writers are great talents who have succeeded in proving that Wales is a world-class contributor to literature.”

The winners were announced at an award ceremony held in The Tramshed, Cardiff on Monday 13 November, hosted by BBC Radio Wales’ Eleri Siôn, in the company of the competition’s judges, shortlisted writers and their guests, publishers, partners and members of the public.

Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales said:

“The Wales Book of the Year ceremony is one of the most significant events in the Welsh literary calendar, and a celebration of the very best writers in both Welsh and English. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.”

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16 November 2017