Patrick McGuiness has won the main English-language prize at Wales Book of the Year 2015 awards, run by Literature Wales, for Other People’s Countries (Jonathan Cape).
Other People’s Countries is set in the town of Bouillon, where the author’s mother came from, and is a “brilliant, lyrical memoir”, said the judges.
Judge Paul Henry said: “It’s a poet’s prose at its best – perfectly paced, effortless in its devices. Tender, humorous, moving and, in places, profound, Other People’s Countries reminds us how great writing approaches the essence of memory.”
McGuiness was crowned Book of the Year after picking up the award for creative non-fiction earlier in the night.
Other winners at the awards, which are for Welsh or Welsh-interest authors, were Tiffany Atkinson, who received the Roland Mathias Poetry Award for So Many Moving Parts (Bloodaxe Books), and Cynan Jones, who won the fiction category for The Dig (Granta).
The winner of the Wales Arts Review people’s choice prize 2015 was Jonathan Edwards with his poetry collection My Family and Other Superheroes (Seren).
In the Welsh-language awards, Awstyn Anogia by Gareth F Williams (Gwasg Gwynedd) won book of the year, as well as the fiction category.
The winner of the poetry category was Un Stribedyn Bach by Rhys Iorwerth (GwasgCarregGwalch), Llŷr Gwyn Lewis took home the creative non-fiction award for Rhyw Flodau Rhyfel (Y Lolfa), and the winner of Gwobr Barn y Bobl, the Welsh-language public vote, was Saith Oes Efaby Lleucu Roberts (Y Lolfa).
Each category winner was awarded £2,000 and a trophy, and the main award winner in each language received an additional £6,000.
Lleucu Siencyn, chief executive of Literature Wales said: “It’s also wonderful to see Welsh writers set their sights firmly on the horizon, taking the readers of Wales to distant lands and embracing different cultures and histories whilst succeeding to stay true to our own.”