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Trade hailed in mixed Honours List
03.01.12 | Lisa Campbell
Authors, poets and librarians are among those hailed for their work in the New Year Honours List, with only a smattering of trade figures honoured this time around.
Penguin author Penelope Lively was awarded a DBE, poet and critic Professor Geoffrey Hill was awarded a knighthood and Bridget Mary Fisher, president of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals was awarded an OBE for services to libraries. Helen Ellis, publicity director of HarperCollins, has been made an OBE. Isobel Abulhoul was awarded an OBE for services to education and British literature in the United Arab Emirates; while Richard Sherry becomes an MBE for services to the publishing industry and to the community in Northern Ireland. Brent SOS Libraries campaigner, previous Orange Prize shortlisted author and former chair of the Royal Society of Literature, Dr Maggie Gee, also received an OBE for her services to literature.
Altogether 7% of the total Honours list was made up by professionals from the arts and media industries.
Fisher, known as Biddy Fisher, said: "Although this award will have my name on it, I would like to dedicate it to all those who continue to work tirelessly in libraries and information centres and in the interests of all communities. I believe wholeheartedly in the life enhancing potential of libraries and I like to think that this wonderful honour recognises the role that the profession plays in our society."
The Honours List also included poet and playwright Dr Dannie Abse and Lady Rachel Billington, author and vice-president of English PEN. The Poetry Society’s SLAMbassador poet mentor Chris Preddie was also awarded an OBE for his work steering young people away from gang culture.
Artistic director of SLAMbassador, a youth poetry programme, Joelle Taylor said: "There is some serious air punching across slam and the Poetry Society today! I am indescribably proud of Chris and his achievements and prouder still of the example he sets to younger people as an artist and as a human being."