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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 18:39 GMT 19:39 UK
Scottish poet takes Forward prize
Kathleen Jamie
Kathleen Jamie lives in Fife with her young family
Scottish poet Kathleen Jamie has won the 10,000 Forward Prize - the UK's biggest annual poetry award.

She took the best collection prize with The Tree House, a collection of poems embracing nature and spirituality.

The award for best first collection was awarded to 29-year-old Leontia Flynn, from Northern Ireland, for her "strikingly original" debut These Days.

Lavinia Greenlaw, chair of the judging panel, said: "These collections were as different as they were remarkable."

An award also went to Daljit Nagra, from west London, whose Look We Have Coming To Dover! was named best single poem.

Best collection - Kathleen Jamie
Best first collection - Leontia Flynn
Best single poem - Daljit Nagra

The judging panel, which included poets Ruth Fainlight, WN Herbert and Patience Agbabi and BBC radio producer Tim Dee, each read nearly 100 collections and over 100 single poems to reach their decision.

In The Tree House, Jamie writes of encounters with animals, birds, and other humans that propose a way of living which recognises the earth as home to many different consciousnesses.

Greenlaw, said: "In the end Kathleen Jamie's The Tree House stood out as a book which enlarges not only her own oeuvre but the scope and capacity of poetry being written today."

'Literary heritage'

She added: "This is also an extraordinary year for first collections.

"A new constellation has been revealed and for us the book that was most dazzling in its promise was that of Leontia Flynn."

Nagra's poem Look We Have Coming To Dover! explores the issues surrounding the wave of immigrants coming to Britain since the late 1950s.

Greenlaw said it "engages playfully and powerfully with our literary heritage".

The winners were announced in London on Wednesday on the eve of National Poetry Day.

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