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But No Cigar


Natural Mechanical

Yesterday, the winner of the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize was announced as JO Morgan for Natural Mechanical. It’s a fine book and a deserving winner. A book-length narrative poem that so deftly handles shifts in time, perspective and voice would be an impressive achievement at any point in a poet’s writing life, but to produce such a work as a first book is a double achievement. Huge congratulations to JO Morgan.

Commiserations to the rest of my fellow nominees: Sian Hughes, Dawn Wood and Philip Rush. Naturally, I’m disappointed not to have won, but Natural Mechanical is a stand-out book, and I am pleased that a Scottish poet in his early thirties took the crown.


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