Hand Over Mouth Music

by Janette Ayachi

Published by Pavilion Poetry

Judges' Comments:

'Janette Ayachi’s debut succeeds in expanding the field of what contemporary Scottish Poetry can say. Tender poems about motherhood sit next to reflections on Ayachi’s Scottish and Algerian roots while desire is treated with a frankness that is as intriguing as it is irresistible.'


'We are absolutely delighted that Janette Ayachi’s Hand Over Mouth Music has been shortlisted for the Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Award 2019. It is an honour to have published the collection with Pavilion Poetry, with thanks to Deryn Rees-Jones (Series Editor) and Alison Welsby (Editorial Director) – along with the rest of the Pavilion family. But above all we are proud that Janette is receiving such esteemed recognition for her work. Thank you to the judges for their decision, this shortlisting means a great deal to a lot of people and will go a long way in allowing readers to be drawn in to the wonderful mind of Janette Ayachi.'


'I am so sincerely thrilled and grateful to be shortlisted for this award and seen as I have already overdosed on exclamation marks when sharing the news with my family: I will save only the last one for here! I am also very lucky to have such supportive publishers, without which, my poetry about growing up mixed-race in Scotland would not have been ventilated to one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Scotland, given this platform and a chance to breathe, then sing. Hand Over Mouth Music is finally being heard, and I am so deeply pleased I am floating.  Even if it does not win, this gorgeous vestibule here is just as excitable. Thank you, and thank you, Jupiter. *(insert one more exclamation mark here).'