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Skirrid Hill

Skirrid Hill

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Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award 2006

Ideas of separation and divorce are important in Owen Sheers' eagerly-awaited new book: the geographical divides of borders, the separation of the dead and the living, the movement from childhood to adulthood, the ending of relationships.

Such divides are both moments of 'mark-making' and moments of absence. In this collection it is often the awareness of such separation – past or impending – and the juxtaposition of these diverse states – that provides the friction from which the poems are born.

The book revolves around the two poems 'Y Gaer' and 'The Hillfort', the titles themselves suggesting the linguistic divide in Wales, from poems concerned with childhood, a Welsh landscape and family, to a more outward looking vision both geographically and historically.

"Sheers is a vivid, sensuous writer."
The Times

"It is the truth in the details that suggests indisputably that Sheers is the real thing, a poet of promise whom we are sure to hear much of in the future."
Dannie Abse

"Owen Sheers is one of the most exciting talents around and a fabulous performer of his work."
Carol Ann Duffy

Born in Fiji, raised in Abergavenny, educated at Oxford and a graduate of the University of East Anglia writing programme, Owen Sheers was named as one of the Next Generation poets by the Poetry Book Society in 2004. He is the author of the best-selling poetry collection The Blue Book, which was shortlisted for the Welsh Book of the Year and the Forward prize for Best First Collection in 2000. During 2004 he was writer in residence at the Wordsworth Trust. His prose book, The Dust Diaries (Faber) was shortlisted for the Welsh Book of the Year and The Ondaatje Prize in 2005.