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Last Updated: Monday, 19 January, 2004, 19:44 GMT
Scottish poet wins 10,000 prize
Don Paterson
Don Paterson has won several literary awards for his work
Scottish poet Don Paterson has won the prestigious TS Eliot Prize for poetry for the second time in six years.

Paterson, 40, has become the first person to be awarded the Poetry Book Society honour more than once.

His book Landing Light was judged to be the best collection of new poetry published in the UK and Ireland during the previous 12 months.

He received a cheque for 10,000 at an awards ceremony in London hosted by arts minister Estelle Morris.

Click here to read Don Paterson's Waking with Russell

Paterson's work was judged by a panel of poets chaired by George Szirtes, supported by David Harsent and Mimi Khalvati.

The prize is named in honour of Eliot who was a founder member of the Poetry Book Society in 1953. Poet Laureate Andrew Motion has described the award as "the prize most poets want to win".

Previous winners include Les Murray, Ted Hughes and Alice Oswald.

His work is superbly authoritative, deeply felt, playful and properly ambitious
George Szirtes, chairman of judges
Mr Paterson, from Dundee, also won the prize for 1997 with his collection God's Gift to Women - described at the time as an example of a so-called "new lad" style of writing.

Speaking of his latest work, judge Mr Szirtes said: "Don Paterson offers what Eliot demanded: complexity and intensity of emotion, an intuitive understanding of tradition and what it makes possible, and, at the same time, a freshness that is like clear spring water.

"His work is superbly authoritative, deeply felt, playful and properly ambitious."

Mr Paterson has received several literary awards, including three Scottish Arts Council book awards and The Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award.

He works as a writer, editor and musician. He has also written drama for the stage and for radio, and worked as a reviewer and columnist for several national newspapers.

As a jazz guitarist, he works solo and with the ensemble Lammas, with whom he has recorded five albums.

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Here is an example of Paterson's work:

Waking with Russell

Whatever the difference is, it all began
the day we woke up face-to-face like lovers
and his four-day old smile dawned on him again,
possessed him, till it would not fall or waver;
and I pitched back not my old hard-pressed grin
but his own smile, or one I'd rediscovered.
Dear son, I was mezzo del'cammin
and the true path was as lost to me as ever
when you cut in front and lit it as you ran.
See how the true gift never leaves the giver:
returned and redelivered, it rolled on
until the smile poured through us like a river.
How fine, I thought, this waking amongst men!
I kissed your mouth and pledged myself forever.



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