The poet Andrew McMillan has won the 2015 Guardian first book award with his elegantly poised and intimate collection of poems, Physical.
McMillan is the first poet to win the £10,000 prize since it began in 1999, replacing the Guardian fiction prize with an award open to debuts of any genre.
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About the book:
Shortlisted for the 2015 Costa Poetry Prize
Shortlisted for the 2015 Guardian First Book Award
Winner of the 2015 Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize
Shortlisted for the 2015 Forward Prize for Best First Collection
Raw and urgent, these poems are hymns to the male body – to male friendship and male love – muscular, sometimes shocking, but always deeply moving. We are witness here to an almost religious celebration of the flesh: a flesh vital with the vulnerability of love and loss, to desire and its departure. In an extraordinary blend of McMillan’s own colloquial Yorkshire rhythms with a sinewy, Metaphysical music and Thom Gunn’s torque and speed – ‘your kiss was deep enough to stand in’ – the poems in this first collection confront what it is to be a man and interrogate the very idea of masculinity. This is poetry where every instance of human connection, from the casual encounter to the intimate relationship, becomes redeemable and revelatory.