Welsh Poet Wins Prize for Memoir of Wife's Death


After some initial confusion at an award ceremony on Tuesday evening, poet Dannie Abse was named winner of the Wales Book of the Year for his memoir The Presence (Hutchinson, 2007), which he wrote following his wife's death in 2005. Culture Minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas made the announcement at the Hilton Hotel in Cardiff after mistakenly naming novelist Tom Bullough the winner. The mixup was quickly corrected, but not until Bullough had approached the stage to collect the prize worth £10,000 (approximately $19,925). Bullough returned to his seat while the award was given to Abse and did not return to the stage to receive the runners-up prize.

Abse's The Presence is a journal of the poet's grief as he struggled to cope with the loss of his wife. The couple were involved in the accident in June 2005 as they drove home from a poetry reading. The memoir is being published in the U.S. by Vintage Books in November.