I was really excited when I was given the opportunity to be on this year’s Poetry Shadow Panel. Poetry is not something that I read particularly often, so I was looking forward to trying some new books and discovering new authors. As this was my second time doing the shadow panel (I was part of the Non-Fiction group last year), I had a bit more knowledge about what to expect for the judging.
The books were a little late in arriving because of a mix up with my forms, so when they arrived I dived straight into reading them. As I was reading them critically I thought it would be easier to make notes as I read, noting down what I liked and what I wasn’t so keen on. I found this really helpful as it made it easier to whittle down which one was my favourite.
I really enjoyed reading the different books, especially given that they were Scottish authors. A lot of the titles were unlike anything I had read before. When I had finished reading the books I was very much torn between two - Still Life with Feeding Snake by John Burnside and Twist by Pippa Little. After some deliberation my vote ultimately went to Still Life with Feeding Snake, because I thought it was such a fascinating book that I definitely plan to read again in the future.