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The Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize

Faber Book CommitteeThe Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize was founded in 1963 in tribute to Sir Geoffrey Cust Faber, a poet and founding editor of Faber & Gwyer, now known as Faber & Faber, one of the world's best known literary publishers.

(The photograph on the right, courtesy of the Faber Archive, is of the Faber Book Commitee in 1944; Geoffrey Faber is third from the left and T S Eliot is on the extreme left.)

The Prize is awarded in alternative years to a volume of fiction (including short stories) and poetry, with the former in the odd numbered years and the latter in the even. Only a winner is announced, who receives £1000.

Eligible books must have been published in English in either the calendar year of the award or the previous year; authors must be resident in the UK, the Commonwealth or Ireland and under 40 on the date of publication.

Previous fiction winners include J G Farrell, J M Coetzee, Julian Barnes, Carol Birch, Will Self and David Mitchell. Poetry winners include Seamus Heaney, Tony Harrison, Paul Muldoon, Don Paterson, Kathleen Jamie and Glyn Maxwell. Muldoon and Jamie are the only authors to have won the prize twice, although Muldoon's first win, in 1982, was shared with Tom Paulin, the most recent of five occasions on which the Prize has been jointly awarded.

The 2011 judging panel included Foyles' Web Editor, Jonathan Ruppin.

The prize for 2013 was announced on 21st November 2014. The panel, consisting of author Deirdre Madden, bookseller Patrick Neale and journalist Gaby Wood, chose A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride.

Gaby Wood commented, 'Although the Geoffrey Faber Prize doesn't have as its specific remit the commendation of excellent books that have somehow escaped widespread notice, we did hope to do something along those lines. So we had at first believed that Eimear McBride's much-praised book might not qualify. But what she has done in A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is so linguistically daring, so formally skillful yet so heart-churningly strong that we thought, in the end, not to applaud it would be an act of blindness. I think all of the judges were delighted - and quite relieved - to find the others felt the same.'

 

Previous winners

 

2012: The Havocs by Jacob Polley (poetry)

2011: Solace by Belinda McKeon (fiction)

2010: Perfect Blue by Kona Macphee

2009: London and the South-East by David Szalay

2008: On Purpose by Nick Laird

2007: Self Help by Edward Docx

2006: Woods Etc. by Alice Oswald

2005: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

2004: The Nerve: Poems by Glyn Maxwell

2003: The Drink and Dream Teahouse by Justin Hill (currently out of print)

2002: At Home in the Dark by Greta Stoddart

2001: The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi

2000: Jizzen by Kathleen Jamie (currently out of print)

1999: Shopping by Gavin Kramer (currently out of print)

1998: God's Gift to Women by Don Paterson

1997: Not Her Real Name by Emily Perkins (currently out of print)

1996: The Queen of Sheba by Kathleen Jamie (currently out of print)

1995: Their Angel Reach by Livi Michael (currently out of print)

1994: Feast Days by John Burnside (currently out of print)

1993: The Quantity Theory of Insanity by Will Self

1992: Madoc: A Mystery by Paul Muldoon (currently out of print)

1991: The Fog Line by Carol Birch (currently out of print)

1990: Shibboleth by Michael Donaghy (currently out of print)

1989: Sea Music by David Profumo (currently out of print)

1988: Acrimony: Poems by Michael Hofmann (currently out of print)

1987: Man Descending by Guy Vanderhaege (currently out of print)

1986: A Quiet Gathering by David Scott (currently out of print)

1985: Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes

1984: In Memory of War: Poems 1968-83 by James Fenton (currently out of print)

1983: Shuttlecock by Graham Swift

1982: The Strange Museum by Tom Paulin AND Why Brownlee Left by Paul Muldoon (currently out of print)

1981: Waiting for the Barbarians by J M Coetzee

1980: Love by Hugo Williams AND The Slant Door by George Szirtes (both currently out of print)

1979: The Monkey King by Timothy Mo

1978: Dreams of the Dead by David Harsent AND The Bear Looked over the Mountain by Kit Wright (both currently out of print)

1977: The Story of the Weasel by Carolyn Slaughter (currently out of print)

1976: Love or Nothing by Douglas Dunn (currently out of print)

1975: In the Middle of a Life by Richard B Wright (currently out of print)

1974: Cannibals and Missionariesby John Fuller (currently out of print)

1973: Pasmore by David Storey (currently out of print)

1972: The Loiners by Tony Harrison (currently out of print)

1971: Troubles by J G Farrell

1970: King Log by Geoffrey Hill (currently out of print)

1969: The Junkers by Piers Paul Read ((currently out of print)

1968: Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney

1967: Remedy is None by William McIlvanney AND The Man with the Chocolate Egg by John Noone (both currently out of print)

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