Author Kirstie Blair wins Saltire Book Award

Kirstie Blair has won the 2019 Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year award for her text Working Verse in Victorian Scotland: Poetry, Press, Community.

The Strathclyde University lecturer won the coveted award at a ceremony at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday evening.

Blair’s book is a study of working class poetry and poetics in Victorian Britain, with particular focus on Scottish Literature.

The work also won the Research book of the year award, a prize sponsored by the National Library of Scotland.

Handing out the award on behalf of the Library was Associate Director of External Relations, Jackie Cromarty.

She said: “We are thrilled that the research book of the year also won the main award this year. It is huge recognition of the importance of research to all of our lives in various ways.

“We are particularly keen to help uncover the hidden diverse voices in history, and this book is a huge step to uncovering other perspectives on life in Victorian Scotland – more of which is there to be found within our own collections.”

The awards are held annually and Cromarty believes they are vital to the cultural life of the nation.

She said: “These awards are Scotland’s most high profile and important literary awards – the fact that they take place on St Andrews Day says it all really!”

Alasdair Gray, author of Lanark, was awarded the inaugural lifetime achievement award for his contribution to Scottish literature.