Scot's elegy for a friend wins poetry prize

SCOTTISH poet Don Paterson has picked up one of Britain's top awards for a book of verse in which he mourns fellow writer Michael Donaghy.

Paterson, originally from Dundee, won the 10,000 Forward prize for best poetry collection for his book Rain.

"We felt it was a very serious endeavour, and a book that stayed in the memory, with some of the most moving poems that we had read," said Jean Sprackland, one of the Forward judges.

Rain includes Song for Natalie "Tusja" Beridze, a tongue-in-cheek poem dedicated to an eastern European musician Paterson met on the internet. It won the Forward prize for best single poem last year.

It also includes Phantom, an elegy for the US poet Donaghy, who died suddenly aged 50 and with whom Paterson played in an Irish music group.

Robin Robertson, originally from Aberdeen, won this year's best single poem prize for At Roane Head. He has published several volumes and has worked several publishing houses.

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