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Mark Lawson to head David Cohen Prize judges

24th January 2011

Writer and broadcaster Mark Lawson will sit as the new chair of judges for the David Cohen Prize for Literature 2011, reading charity Booktrust has announced.

Lawson, who will replace former poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion in the position, will head a nine-strong judging panel for the biennial award, which has a GBP 40,000 prize.

He will be joined by Granta deputy editor Ellah Allfrey, poet Simon Armitage, Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington and Sarah Churchwell, senior lecturer in English literature and culture at the University of East Anglia.

The panel is completed by novelist and poet Tobias Hill, biographer Kathryn Hughes, former University College London professor of English literature Karl Miller and Sunday Telegraph literary editor Michael Prodger.

Established in 1992, the David Cohen Prize for Literature can be awarded to novelists, essayists, poets or dramatists and was most recently received by Seamus Heaney.

Lawson commented: 'Because the David Cohen Prize rewards sustained excellence over a long period, the candidates include the greatest living names in British and Irish literature.'

He added that he considers the award to be the 'closest we have in this country to a Nobel Prize for literature'.

Earlier this month, Booktrust revealed that the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2011 will be judged by academic Harriett Gilbert, author M.J. Hyland, novelist Neel Mukherjee, Independent literary editor Boyd Tonkin and the University of Oxford's Catriona Kelly.
 

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