John Freeman’s collection What Possessed Me has won the Roland Mathias prize at the Wales Book of the Year awards!
The Roland Mathias Poetry Award is awarded to the best poetry collection of the year and was presented at a glittering awards ceremony at the Tramshed in Cardiff on Monday 13 November.
On behalf of the judging panel, Jonathan Edwards said: “This year’s winning books are a real celebration of just how exciting, vibrant and diverse literature in Wales currently is. These writers are great talents who have succeeded in proving that Wales is a world-class contributor to literature.” Read a full report of the awards on the Literature Wales website.
What Possessed Me has been called “a visionary collection” (Sentinel Literary Review), “lit with humour and openness” (London Grip), and “full of precise and telling detail and powerful and memorable imagery” (Jonathan Edwards). “The thing that immediately strikes me”, writes Charles Ashleigh in Penniless Press, “about John Freeman’s poems is their consistency – of tone, of rhythm, of clarity. There is a sure voice in evidence at all times. What is particularly affecting is the way in which a poem, and I’m conscious of this whole book being, in a sense, really one poem, can be triggered by a small incident or observation. What I find attractive in the writing is the relaxed and friendly way in which the reader is invited into the poet’s world.”