Now I have written admiringly about John Siddle's journalism but on this occaision I think he has got the tone wrong. He, or the sub editor , have given this story a negative spin when in truth it is a stonking success. So well done Jean, I've never met you-unless I've knocked on your door at an election-but in our imaginations you have given form and substance to our lanscape. I shall go to Broadhurst's and Saturday and buy your book. Anyway here is John's report:
Southport poet Jean Sprackland misses out on prestigious Costa prize
Feb 6 2008
by John Siddle, Midweek Visiter
A SOUTHPORT poet has narrowly missed out on winning the country’s most celebrated literary prize.
Jean Sprackland reached the final shortlist for the Costa Book of the Year for her Southport-inspired collection, Tilt, but was beaten by Scottish author, AL Kennedy.
At a lavish ceremony in London, Jean was awarded the Costa Poetry Award for her book. which judges described as “taut, powerful poems”.
But she failed to scoop the overall prize when pitted against five other category winners.
Jean said: “I absolutely didn’t expect to win. It’s very unusual for the winner of the poetry award to win the main prize.
“The ceremony was very grand and glamorous, certainly nothing I’m used to. I must have had about 300 photographs taken of me during the course of the evening!”
Formerly known as The Whitbread Prize, the award recognises the most enjoyable book of the last year by writers based in the UK and Ireland. Previous winners include Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes.
The glittering night at The Intercontinental Hotel in London was attended by around 500 people, including eminent literary figures.
Jean added: “There were a few famous faces, and it was slightly scary when I had to go on stage to collect my award, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I took my son and daughter with me, and they had a fantastic time. It’s something you never forget.”
Jean plans to take time off from writing poetry, but is considering a non-fiction book on Southport’s coastline.