Shortlist Unveiled For The International Three Language Wigtown Poetry Prize 

The names of the poets shortlisted for Scotland’s annual three-language international poetry prize have been revealed.

The Wigtown Poetry Prize supports and nurtures poets from all across the world writing in Scotland’s three indigenous languages – English, Gaelic and Scots.

There are also separate awards for poems in Scots and Gaelic, as well as the Alastair Reid Pamphlet Prize and the Dumfries and Galloway Fresh Voice Award, for poets living in, or from, the region who have never professionally published a full length collection.

This year the winners will be revealed at a special event on Saturday, 1 October, which takes place as part of the Wigtown Book Festival. The shortlists are:

Wigtown Prize 

  • William Hershaw, from Lochgelly, for Tae Naesayers O Life And Leid
  • Suzanna Fitzpatrick, from Orpington, for Pandemic Prayer
  • Julie Laing, from Glasgow, for Calving
  • Craig Aitchison, from Galashiels, for Searoom
  • Norte Rin, from Spain, for My Father Did Not Come Back 


Wigtown Scottish Gaelic Prize

  • Martin MacIntyre, from Edinburgh, for Dithis Bhoireannach air Trèan
  • Ian Macrae, from Glasgow, for Sgitheach
  • Rody Gorman, from Skye, for Triall and Moch gu Abhainn 


Wigtown Scots Prize

  • Irene Howat, from Ayr for The Lintie
  • Craig Aitchison, from Galashiels, for The Searoom
  • Robert Duncan, from Newcastle, for Pyot
  • Joan Fraser, from Brae, for Here aalwiss
  • Colin Mackenzie, from Dumfries, for Anent Braidskeg


Dumfries & Galloway Fresh Voice Award

  • Sara Pitt, from Castle Douglas
  • Andrew Murray, from Cummertrees
  • Gwen Dupre, from Lockerbie
  • Jane McBeth, from Castle Douglas


Alastair Reid Pamphlet Prize

  • Milena Williamson, from Belfast, for Touchy Feely
  • Wes Lee, from New Zealand, for Voice
  • Bridget Khursheed, from Melrose, for The Confinement
  • Neil Thomson, from Glasgow, for Athajimo
  • Sarah Leavesley, from Droitwich, for Rain Falling
  • Roger West, from Glasgow, for Consider the Song of the Cicada
  • Peter Daniels, from London, for Happy and Fortunate
  • Laura Brown, from Dunfermline, for Spring Appears.


Adrian Turpin, Artistic Director of Wigtown Book Festival, said: “We’ve had many superb entries and they have come from all over the world – with finalists from as far away as Spain and New Zealand – reinforcing the position of Wigtown Poetry Prize as Scotland’s international poetry award.
“Poetry and the richness of our languages are fundamental to Scottish culture and identity and this prize is widely recognised as promoting and nurturing both.
“Simply reaching the shortlist is a tremendous achievement – proving that your work is among the best that has been submitted.
“And next we look forward to naming the winners which, for the first time, will be done at an event during the festival – creating an exciting conclusion to these highly respected annual awards.”


The Wigtown Poetry Prize takes place in association with The Gaelic Books Council, Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre, The Saltire Society, The Scottish Poetry Library and StAnza (Scotland’s International Poetry Festival).

The judges for 2022 are Trinidadian Scottish writer of poetry and non-fiction Vahni (Anthony Ezekiel) CapildeoFRSL, Anne C Frater who grew up in Upper Bayble, Isle of Lewis, in a home and a community where Gaelic was the main language and Brian Holton who translates poetry and prose from modern and classical Chinese into English and Scots and poet Hugh McMillan.


2022 Prize details 

Wigtown Prize: £1,500, runner-up: £200. Judge Vahni Capildeo.

Wigtown Scots Prize: £500, runner-up: £200. Judge Brian Holton.

Wigtown Scottish Gaelic Prize: £500, runner-up: £200. Judge Anne C Frater.

Dumfries & Galloway Fresh Voice Award: Professional support including mentoring from Wigtown Festival Company and a retreat at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre. Judge Hugh McMillan.

Alastair Reid Pamphlet Prize: Production of a pamphlet set by Gerry Cambridge.

Invitation to Read at StAnza 2023: A winner of one or more categories will be selected at the discretion of StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, and Wigtown Festival Company.

Entrants for the Wigtown Scottish Gaelic and Wigtown Scots prizes can also submit their poems to be considered for the Wigtown Prize free-of-charge.

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