Kathleen Jamie wins 'Scotland's book of the year' honour

Kathleen Jamie has won Scotland's book of the year title at the annual Saltire Literary Awards.

Kathleen Jamie has won Scotland's book of the year title at the annual Saltire Literary Awards.

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A professor of poetry has won Scotland's most prestigious literary honour after challenging herself to pen a new piece of work every week.

The resulting collection saw Stirling University academic Kathleen Jamie pick up the prize for Scotland's book of the year.

The Bonniest Companie, 51 poems which were all written during the course of 2014, the year of the referendum on Scottish independence, was described by the judges of the Scottish Literary Awards as "a visionary response to influential local and global forces and addresses Kathleen’s native Scotland and her place within it."

Jamie, who published her first collection when in 1982, while she was studying philosophy at Edinburgh University, was appointed chair of creative writing at Stirling University.

Jamie, who also won the Scottish poetry book of the year prize at the ceremony in Edinburgh, said: "Scotland makes very good poets - a fact that's still not acknowledged as it ought to be."

Jamie's collection edged out the acclaimed Highlands-set crime novel His Bloody Project, which saw the Ayrshire writer Graeme Macrae Burnet nominated for the Booker Prize earlier this year, for the overall prize after it was named Scottish fiction book of the year.

Expecting, the former Scotsman journalist Chitra Ramaswamy's account of her pregnancy, was jointly named Scotland's best first book with Trials, lawyer Isabel Buchanan's exploration of the lives of the inmates on death row in Pakistan.

Jim Tough, executive director of the Saltire Society, said: "This has been another terrific year for the Saltire Literary Awards and an extra special one as we celebrate our 80th anniversary. Every one of the individual book awards were hotly contested, making the judges’ decision a particularly challenging one."

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