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enCounter Culture

Sarah Jackson fills final Guardian First Book Award slot

14th August 2012 - 4:59pm

Sarah Jackson is the tenth and final writer longlisted for the 2012 Guardian First Book Award, after she was nominated by the newspaper's readers for her debut poetry collection, Pelt.

For the first time, the Guardian opened the tenth spot on the longlist to public nominations this year, with readers from across the world encouraged to vote for their favourite first book published in the last 12 months.

Ultimately it was Jackson who triumphed, with her literary journey from infancy to adulthood, which narrowly missed out on a place on the Forward Poetry Prize shortlist this year, clearly making a strong connection with readers.

Guardian books editor Claire Armitstead revealed that five poetry collections and six novels were in contention for the final spot on the shortlist, with the voting process 'provoking ferocious debate' between reviewers and authors.

'The standard of the discussions has been a delight - proving yet again what passionately discerning readers our reviewing community are. The process has brought books to our attention that had slipped under the reviewing radar,' she added.

Jackson's editor at Bloodaxe Books, Neil Astley, said that Pelt's place on the Guardian First Book Award longlist shows it is connecting with readers.

The other nine books on the longlist will be revealed at the end of this month, with a shortlist of five titles released in November and the winner announced in December.

Last year's GBP 10,000 Guardian First Book Award was won by oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies, his acclaimed 'biography of cancer'.

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