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18 June 2019

The Blackbird Diaries wins the Bookends Prize 2018

12 July 2018

The Blackbird Diaries by Karen Lloyd (Saraband) has won the Bookends Prize for Arts and Literature at the 2018 Lakeland Book of the Year awards

It is the second time Karen has had success at the awards, having won the Striding Edge Productions Prize for Guides and Places at the 2016 awards for her book The Gathering Tide  (also published by Saraband).

In The Blackbird Diaries, Karen Lloyd shares her deep-rooted affection for all our treasured garden wildlife. 

Over the four seasons, she intimately chronicles the drama and the joy, the perils and the pleasures of the natural world as it all unfolds in her garden and on her daily walks in the limestone hills and valleys of Cumbria's South Lakeland.

What emerges is a celebration of landscapes that rarely feature in the existing canon of nature writing.

The winners of the 2018 Lakeland Book of the Year awards were revealed at a special literary luncheon held in Cumbria on Tuesday 10 July.

Other winners included Phil Rigby's Portrait of Cumbria (CN Magazines), which won Lakeland Book of the Year.


About the author

Karen Lloyd is a writer of non-fiction and poetry based in Kendal, Cumbria. She is a contributor to the Guardian Country Diary, has written for the Family section of the Guardian and is a features writer for BBC Countryfile Magazine. She contributes to a number of online blogs, including Caught by the River. She is the editor of Curlew Calling Anthology and works at both regional and local levels on the urgent need for curlew restoration. Karen is a member of Kendal's Brewery Poets and gained a distinction from the Creative Writing M.Litt programme at Stirling University. Her first book, The Gathering Tide, won a Lakeland Award and was selected in the 2016 books of the year feature in the Observer.


Praise for Karen Lloyd's writing:

"Full of earthy realism, authentic observation and quiet lyricism. A hugely impressive debut." - Mark Cocker, author and naturalist

"Entrancing. Exquisite descriptions [and] a forensic attention to detail that sparkles with lyrical imagery." - Miriam Darlington,BBC Wildlifemagazine

"A vivid book, redolent with the tang of original imagery." - Jim Crumley, nature writer

"This poetic book is a map, a layered account of Morecambe Bay, its birds, rivers, names, bones, weathers, ghosts, tides and lives, its dangerous beauty, its tragedies. In mapping a place and sharing its beauty with her reader, she arrives at her own sense of belonging." - Gillian Clarke, poet

"Slides effortlessly from the environment to history, to stories of other people, to personal anecdote... [It] succeeds magnificently." - Robin Lloyd-Jones, author of The Sunlit Summit