Callum Macdonald Memorial Award winner, Leonard McDermid

Callum Macdonald Memorial Award finishes on a high

Poet and publisher Leonard McDermid won the 2018 Callum Macdonald Memorial Award, in a ceremony celebrating the achievements of poetry pamphlet publishing in Scotland.

Mr McDermid won the award for his pamphlet Landway, and was presented with the winning Quaich (a two-handled drinking cup) and a cheque for £1,500. He is also eligible for a two-week residency as the Michael Marks Poet in Residence at the Harvard Centre for Hellenic Studies in Greece in July. This year’s ceremony marks the last time the award will be given.

The Library’s General Collections Manager, Graeme Hawley, was on the judging panel for the awards.

He said:

“The running of this award has coincided with a period of incredible change with regard to publishing and the audience for poetry itself, with many people now hearing poetry performed on the stage rather than reading it on the page. 

“But the pamphlet still has the power to arrest and delight, and when text, font, illustration, and subject matter come together equally in a publication, something magical can happen. Landway is an exquisite example of this.”

Mr McDermid established Stichill Marigold Press in 1990, and under this imprint he has written, hand-set, printed and published several unique letterpress pamphlets.

McDermid was born in Gravesend in 1933. Both his father and grandfather worked in the Greenock shipyards. McDermid studied at Medway College of Art, Brighton College of Art, Newbattle Abbey College, and Edinburgh University. He has lived and worked as an artist in the Borders for the past 40 years. This is the second time McDermid has received the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award, having won in 2010 with And For That Minute.

Second place was awarded to Brittonie Fletcher of the Quem Press for her pamphlet Curriculum Vitae – Roddy Shippin’s debut poetry publication. She received a cheque for £600.

The annual Callum Macdonald Memorial Award was established in 2001 in memory of Callum Macdonald MBE, Scottish literary publisher and founder of Macdonald Publishers and Printers. It was supported by the Michael Marks Charitable Trust and administered by the National Library of Scotland.

Contact Information

Barbara Burke

National Library of Scotland

+44131 623 3738

+447904 791002

Notes to editors

The National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland is a major European research library and one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Scotland and the Scots - an information treasure trove for Scotland’s knowledge, history and culture.

The Library’s collections are of world-class importance. Key areas include digital material, rare books, manuscripts, maps, music, moving images, official publications, business information, science and technology, and modern and foreign collections.

The Library holds more than 26 million physical items dating back over 1000 years in addition to a growing library of e-books, e-journals and other digital material. The collection includes more than four million books, eight million manuscripts, two million maps and more than 45,000 films and videos. Every week the Library collects around 3,000 new items. Most of these are received free of charge in terms of Legal Deposit legislation. / @natlibscot / facebook