Poet Robert Minhinnick wins Wales Book of the Year

Robert Minhinnick alongside his winning book, Diary of the Last Man Image copyright Literature Wales/Jean-Yves Gloaguen
Image caption Robert Minhinnick's collection of poems, Diary of the Last Man, won him the prestigious Wales Book of the Year Award - the third time he has won the award.

A poet has won his third Wales Book of the Year award for his writings on Brexit and the environment.

Robert Minhinnick, who grew up near Bridgend and studied in Aberystwyth and Cardiff, also won the Roland Mathias Poetry Prize.

His book, a collection of poems called Diary of the Last Man, was described as "environmentalism turned into elegy".

Minhinnick accepted the award and a £4,000 prize at a ceremony run by Literature Wales in Cardiff on Tuesday.

The poet also received a specially commissioned trophy designed and created by the artist Angharad Pearce Jones and presented by the Chair of the Arts Council of Wales Phil George.

"This is environmentalism turned into elegy," said judge Carolyn Hitt.

"It is so powerful, so political. These are serious poems for serious times that will stay with you and make you think about what we are doing to the planet."

Minhinnick's poems have twice won the Forward Prize for best individual poem, and his winning collection, Diary of the Last Man, was shortlisted for the T S Eliot prize last year.

Image copyright Literature Wales
Image caption Crystal Jeans and M Wynn Thomas were other English category winners

Celebrating books across three categories in both English and Welsh, the ceremony saw 10 winners share a total prize fund of £12,000.

'Fierce talent'

Crystal Jeans won the English-language fiction award for her "funny, dark, shocking and warm novel" Switches Are My Kryptonite.

M Wynn Thomas's All That is Wales won the English-language creative non-fiction award and Hummingbird by Tristan Hughes was announced winner of Wales Arts Review people's choice prize.

Image copyright Literature Wales
Image caption Botanist Goronwy Wynne's Blodau Cymru: Byd y Planhigion wins the Welsh language award

The winner of the overall Welsh language award and creative non-fiction award is renowned botanist Goronwy Wynne's Blodau Cymru: Byd y Planhigion.

Catrin Dafydd was awarded the Welsh language fiction prize for Gwales and the winner of the poetry award is Hywel Griffiths with Llif Coch Awst.

"Our nation may be small, but Wales is home to fierce talent," said Kathryn Gray, speaking on behalf of the judging panel.

"Wales consistently produces excellent writers, and this Award is testament to this each year," added Lleucu Siencyn, chief executive of Literature Wales.

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