Costa Book of the Year 2009

Christopher Reid has won the overall Costa Book of the Year Award for his collection of poems, A scattering. The poems were written during his wife’s death from brain tumour; they are said to be ‘unbearably emotional’. Josephine Hart, a novelist and one of the judges, said the book was ‘good bordering on great’ and when she said great she was talking Yeats or Browning. Poetry is not a great seller: A scattering has sold fewer than 1,000 copies since publication. Poetry also rarely wins the Costa Prize, this honour being restricted to Ted Hughes (twice), Seamus Heaney and Douglas Dunn.

Besides poetry, there are four other categories in the Costa Award. The category winners, including Christopher Reid, were announced earlier this month. For the other four categories they were:

  • Novel: Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
  • First Novel: Beauty by Raphael Selbourne
  • Biography: The strangest man: the hidden life of Paul Dirac, quantum genius by Graham Farmelo.
  • Children’s Book: The ask and the answer by Patrick Ness

Tóibín’s Brooklyn was the favourite to win the overall prize. The library has ordered many of this year’s Costa books. So far we have received winner Christopher Reid’s A scattering and first novel Raphael Selbourne’s Beauty and a few others.

The Guardian: Christopher Reid wins Costa book prize.


About homlib

The Library of Homerton College, University of Cambridge.
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