St Andrews poet shortlisted for prestigious prize

Friday 4 March 2022

An award-winning University of St Andrews lecturer has had her debut collection of poetry shortlisted for a major prize.

Poet and novelist Daisy Lafarge, who is also a Creative Writing Lecturer in the School of English, is one of just six nominees shortlisted for the €10,000 John Pollard International Poetry Prize 2022, awarded by Trinity College Dublin.

The prize, sponsored by the John Pollard Foundation and administered by the Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre, is awarded annually for an outstanding debut collection of poetry in the English language.

Described as “a strange concoction of biology, chemistry and personal relationships”, Daisy said her collection Life Without Air is inspired by Louis Pasteur who, as he observed the process of fermentation, noted that while most organisms perish from lack of oxygen, some are able to thrive as “life without air”.

Innovative in structure and form, characters and scenes traverse states of airlessness, from suffocating relationships and institutions to toxic environments and ecstatic asphyxiations. Both compassionate and ecologically nuanced, Life Without Air bridges poetry and prose to interrogate the conditions necessary for survival.

In 2021 Life Without Air was named Scottish Poetry Book of the Year at the Saltire Awards, Scotland’s National Book Awards.

The winner of the John Pollard Poetry Prize will be announced on Tuesday 12 April.

Life Without Air is published by Granta Books.

For the full Trinity College Dublin release visit the website.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Category University news

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