Robert Minhinnick’s highly acclaimed poetry collection, Diary of the Last Man (Carcanet) has been named Wales Book of the Year 2018. Robert also won the Roland Mathias Poetry Prize, receiving the overall prize of £4,000.
Diary of the Last Man is described by the author as a walk across Britain; Brexit Britain, a Britain facing political uncertainty and experiencing change of all kinds, not least climate change. In parts immensely local, in others casting its view abroad, this collection is a celebration of the dwindling Earth, and a caution.
Speaking about Diary of the Last Man, Judge Carolyn Hitt said “This is environmentalism turned into elegy. It’s so powerful, so political. These are serious poems for serious times…that will stay with you and make you think about what we’re doing to the planet.”
This is the third time Robert has won the prestigious Wales Book of the Year Award. His poems have twice won the Forward Prize for ‘best individual poem’, and his winning collection, Diary of the Last Man was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot prize in 2017.
On the shortlist for the poetry award were Nia Davies for All fours and Matthew Francis for The Mabinogi.
The winner of the Welsh lanuage poetry Award is Hywel Griffiths with Llif Coch Awst (Cyhoeddiadau Barddas).
Celebrating books across three categories in both English and Welsh, the ceremony saw 10 winners share a total prize fund of £12,000.
“Our nation may be small, but Wales is home to fierce talent,” said Kathryn Gray, speaking on behalf of the judging panel.