Janice Galloway wins 2012 Scottish Book of the Year award with All Made Up
- Phoebe Cooke
- 17 August 2012
Category winners include Ali Smith, Angus Peter Campbell and Simon Stephenson
Janice Galloway has won the 2012 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year Award for her memoir All Made Up, her second autobiographical work, which follows the highly evocative This is Not About Me. The author, who hails from Saltcoats in North Ayrshire, was awarded the prize at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The Award, now in its fortieth year seeks to recognise work by authors from, or currently living in Scotland, or those authors whose books evoke a special Scottish interest.
The shortlist included Ali Smith, Angus Peter Campbell and Simon Stephenson, who were the respective winners of the Fiction, Poetry, and First Book category winners. Galloway, the overall winner, receives a total of £30,000 with £5,000 going to each of those shortlisted and at the head of their respective categories.
Ali Smith scooped the fiction gold prize with his There but for the. Simon Stephenson won First Book winner with his John Murray-published debut Let Not the Waves of the Sea, whilst Angus Peter Campell’s collection Aibisidh won best poetry.
On receiving the award, the authoress expressed her thanks to the SMIT’s investment in the arts, saying ‘I am very grateful indeed. The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust is keeping the faith in writing and writers in these extremely testing times for the arts. The judges have chosen a shortlist to be proud of.’
All Made Up deals with Galloway’s struggle to make sense of the physical and emotional changes of adolescence. In this, the second volume of Galloway’s memoirs, the prize-winning author reveals how the awkward child introduced in This is Not About Me grew up as a teenager with her hardy mother and overbearing older sister.
Galloway has published widely since her debut novel The Trick is to Keep Breathing, which is now hailed as a contemporary Scottish classic. As well as penning two memoirs, three novels, three short story collections, and her poetry collection Boy Book See, Galloway has written an opera libretto for Sally Beamish and the Scottish Opera, and was the first Scottish Arts Council writer in residence to four prisons (HMPs Cornton Vale, Dungavel, Barlinnie and Polmont YOI).
Previous winners of the Award include Jackie Kay for her autobiography Red Dust Road in 2011; Donald Worster for his biography A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir in 2010 and Edwin Morgan's poetry collection A Book of Lives in 2008.
A new relay poem
The brand new, unpublished Relay poem has been written for the 2012 Awards
(Angus Peter Campbell ©)
This is not a Race
Here I am, crouched,
poem in hand, waiting for the gun.
On your marks. Set.
And I refuse to Go.
Still on the blocks
listening to the silence of the crowd
and no cows lowing and the faster language
disappearing into the distance.
I stand up
and the stadium is Uist - empty
except for the sound of my father
sitting alone in the stand, singing
do-chreidseannach; cho brèagha; balach brèagha;
unbelievable; he's beautiful; what a beautiful boy.
I fling the baton to Sìm
who caresses the Gaelic word: ruith
and he smiles and.....
(Simon Stephenson ©)
I'd been watching on television
As poetry made her Olympic debut:
the place had looked full to me.
If I'd known I would be running
I'd have dressed for the occasion
Bought some new fast shoes
Or at least not drank so much at lunch
I reach for the red button
Hoping the crowd won't see as I
Attempt an escape to water polo,
Even to rhythmic gymnastics
But in my hand now is only a baton
And it whispers to me ruith, ruith, ruith
The track ahead lies deserted
But still ruith, ruith, ruith
And so I do, I do, and right on cue
The next runner arrives from the changing room
She'd accidentally locked herself in
I hand the baton to Ali, who reads the Gaellic ruith and smiles.
(Ali Smith ©)
I'm running round a track
holding a word in my hand
it's in a beguiling language
that I'm ashamed I don't understand.
But if i leave the track and go off to take a long overdue language course
who will save the day?
Ah – up ahead of me
It's Janice Galloway.
I pass her the baton written
in the language that beguiles
I know she can win this for us.
She reads the word, winks at me, and smiles.
(Janice Galloway ©)
And the word reads run. Or something like it.
Like a river, like a tap, a fresh-cut wound.
A memory in roaring spate.
What’s more, this close, it’s not a baton. It’s a scroll
all ink and sweat and finger prints:
the word that is not one word - run, flow, dissolve and trickle on -
and in the corner, in Ancient Greek, some pallid
hand-etched scrawl reads
PROPERTY OF ATHENS PUBLIC LIBRARY:
PLEASE STEAL AND PASS IT ON
love Homer xxx
Up there in the stands someone’s dad is singing still
in an ancient tongue. Get a move on, fatty.
Time is short.
Angus, Simon, Ali - this year’s team - we're all agreed.
Even in these shoes, then, I’ll run.
For this is not a race. It’s a bloodline.
Dear Reader, here’s the word.
Now take it. Run.