John Urquhart wins the Donald Meek Award 2019
27 September 2019
The Donald Meek Award 2019 for the Gaelic Book
of the Year has been presented to the writer John
Urquhart for Turas (Journey), his debut
collection of poetry, at a ceremony at the National Piping Centre
in Glasgow on Thursday 26 September. This is the first time that
the foremost prize for Gaelic writing has been awarded to a
collection of original unpublished poetry.
Additional funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig has allowed the competition to
broaden in recent years, and two other authors were also awarded
prizes. Well-known poet, Myles Campbell was in
second place with Gràs, a collection of religious poems to
be launched by Handsel Press at the Royal National Mod next month,
and Morag Ann MacNeil was awarded third prize for
her children's story, Artair sa Chaisteal.
Alison Lang, Director of the Gaelic Books
Council, said, "It gives us great pleasure to be able to
recognise the talents of the writers who have received this year's
awards, and we are grateful to our funders and to all those who
support the Gaelic Books Council. Congratulations to John, Myles
and Morag Ann; we look forward to seeing their books in print."
John Urquhart said, "Without a doubt, this is the greatest
honour of my life as a writer. I am delighted and especially
thankful to the judges for such recognition for my book, 'Turas' -
a poetic look at my life experiences, along with a few thoughts on
the twists and turns of the world."
The Donald Meek Award was established in 2010 by the Gaelic Books
Council, in collaboration with Creative
Scotland, with a view to encouraging new and established Gaelic
writers. This year's entries included poetry, children's fiction
and academic research.