East Anglian Book Awards
To Norwich, Thursday evening, for the 2012 East Anglian Book Awards,
Supported by Eastern Daily Press and Jarrold, the department store.
A trace of the eighteenth century,
The celebration of letters
In the elegant Assembly House –
All proudly provincial,
The speakers and judges as if plucked from a who’s who of Norwich.
The books all celebrating or inspired by East Anglia,
Defined as ‘Norfolk, Suffolk, and the Fens’
(Questionably – isn’t Fenland a region on its own?).
Seven category winners:
Fiction (Ninepins by Rosy Thornton);
Poetry (Kevin Crossley-Holland, The mountains of Norfolk);
History and tradition (Strangers by Frank Meeres);
Biography and memoir (Ronald Blythe, At the yeoman’s house);
Nature and places (Candy Whittome, The last hunters);
Art and photography (Tidelines by Ian Collins);
Travel and guidebooks (Bruce and Mike Robinson, The Peddar’s Way and Norfolk Coastal Path)
The last hunters the overall winner,
Telling the story of Cromer’s crab-fishing community –
‘Stroppy buggers’, the author says.
Sitting at dinner between
The Chair of East Anglian Writers
And a business professor whose extra-curricular thriller has just been published,
The evening making up in pride of creativity
For any lack of glamour,
I found myself thinking,
I’d take this over the Booker awards, any time.
Reminds me why I work in publishing.