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Saltire Poetry Awards

29 November 2021

Daisy Lafarge, a lecturer in Creative Writing, has won the Scottish Poetry Book of the Year at the Saltire Awards 2021 for her poetry collection Life Without Air (Granta books).

Described as 'a strange concoction of biology, chemistry and personal relationships', Life Without Air is inspired by Louis Pasteur who, as he observed the process of fermentation, noted that while most organisms perish from lack of oxygen, some are able to thrive as 'life without air'. Innovative in structure and form, characters and scenes traverse states of airlessness, from suffocating relationships and institutions, to toxic environments and ecstatic asphyxiations. Both compassionate and ecologically nuanced, Life Without Air bridges poetry and prose to interrogate the conditions necessary for survival.

Dr Peter Mackay was also shortlisted for Poetry Book of the Year for his collection Nàdar De: Some Kind of, as was Dr Garry MacKenzie for his Ben Dorain: a conversation with a mountain.

Douglas Dunn, Emeritus Professor of the School, received the Saltire Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as a major poet, editor and critic.