WPF headliner Andrew McMillan wins the Guardian First Book Award

Book cover for Physical by Andrew McMillanWe are pleased and proud that Andrew McMillan has won the prestigious Guardian First Book Award for his collection, Physical.

Andrew will be joining us at WPF2016 where he will be headlining on Saturday 23 April with Don Paterson. Andrew and Don are both shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Prize, won last year by Jonathan Edwards, who is also appearing at WPF2016. Andrew will also be leading a creative writing workshop on the Sunday, on the theme ‘Time does not bring relief’. This will be Andrew’s third time at the festival. He says:

“Every time I’m blown away by the scope, ambition and depth of programming on offer from a relatively small place – for the weekend of the festival Wenlock feels like the centre of the world and ties in well to other events happening in the region, such as the regular poetry nights in Shrewsbury – it’s always a delight and a joy to be there.”

Festival Founder Anna Dreda says:

“I am pleased and proud that the Guardian have awarded Andrew their prestigious First Book Award, and they have got it exactly right. It’s a wonderful confluence of poetry moments: Andrew’s book is important, lyrical, muscular and accessible. It’s a joy to read.

Thanks in great part to our Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, Founding Patron of Wenlock Poetry Festival, many more people are seeking out poetry, either on the page, or at readings and festivals, than has been the case for many, many years. Acceptance and inclusion of the many sexualities we embrace freely, publicly, legally and joyfully in this country is greater now that it has ever been. Andrew’s poetry speaks to all these issues, and the Guardian has recognised and rewarded that.

Since first hearing Andrew read the incredibly moving poem ‘Urination’ at Wenlock Poetry Festival in 2013, and subsequently read from the long sequence ‘Protest of the Physical’ in a café in Shrewsbury in 2014, this moment has been written in the stars.”

Tickets for WPF2016, including those for Andrew’s headline event and workshop, will go on sale in January 2016, with a two-week priority booking period for Friends of Wenlock Poetry Festival. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates.

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