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The overall winner of The Lakeland Book of the Year 2012 was revealed yesterday at a special literary luncheon held at the Castle Green Hotel, Kendal. The award ceremony now in its 28th year saw 55 books entered into the awards, giving the judging panel a huge breadth of choice across whole range subject areas.
The judges with the difficult task of making the final decision were, author and columnist Hunter Davies, broadcaster and writer Eric Robson and BBC News broadcaster Fiona Armstrong, who between them spent the spring months pouring over the submitted books to come out with winners in each of the five award categories and an overall winner.
Founder of the Awards, Hunter Davies said: "It really has been the best year since we began. The quality is tremendous, I have been amazed by the range of subjects covered, with topics I have never seen whole books about before - A vintage year for Cumbrian books, anyone from the top 30 this year would have been a prize winner in a normal year.’’
The Lakeland Book of the Year 2012 has been won jointly by:
‘Jack’s Yak’ - by Keith Richardson with colour photography by Val Corbett.
‘Dear Mary, Love Percy – a Creative Thread’ - edited by Mary Burkett and David Cross.
‘Jack’s Yak’ - charts a unique journey through time with the special trees of the Lake District and Cumbria and the remarkable stories they have to tell. ‘Jack’s Yak’ is far more than a book about trees. It is also a fascinating, entertaining and informative book about life and is beautifully illustrated throughout with the work of the highly acclaimed photographer Val Corbett. The book takes you on a unique zooming in on areas of particular fascination; people, place, environment, history, land and sea. All come under scrutiny as the book explores the significance of trees and their surroundings.
Keith Richardson lives in the Lake District town of Keswick, a stone’s throw from the River Greta. ‘Jack’s Yak’ is his third book under the banner of the River Greta Writer publishing house, the others being the award winning ‘Ivver Sen’, portraits of Lakeland shepherds& - which also featured the impressive artwork of Keith Bowen - and ‘Joss’, a biography of the legendary Lake District fell runner and shepherd Joss Naylor
Val Corbett lives on the eastern fringe of the Lake District where she has worked as a freelance photographer for over 25 years. She is widely known for her landscape photography that captures the unique light of the Lake District. Besides having several books of landscape images published, she has photographed gardens throughout the UK and her work regularly appears in books and the gardening press. Val’s work was also prominent in ‘Ivver Sen’ and ‘Joss.’
‘Dear Mary, Love Percy – a Creative Thread’ is a book revealing more about the intriguing life and work of Cumbrian artist Percy Kelly through his illustrated letters to Mary Burkett from 1968 to 1993. The letters have been edited by David Cross, who also provides a useful introduction to the troubled genius of Kelly the man as well as his work.
Mary Burkett is well-known throughout the county, for 20 years Director of Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal she has been a patron, curator, writer and champion and supporter of the arts in Cumbria, as well as a world authority on felt and on Cumbrian art. Mary remained Kelly’s adviser, supporter, close friend and confidante for the rest of his life, a source of support and guidance to the troubled artist, whose national and even international stature is now recognized.
Dr David Cross from Carlisle is an art historian, writer and lecturer, the biographer of artist George Romney and author of Cumbrian Brothers comprising illustrated letters by Percy Kelly to Norman Nicholson.
Category Award Winners 2012:
The Saint & Co Prize for People & Business was awarded to:
Escape to the Lakes by Robert Gambles.
The Striding Edge Prize for Guides and Places was awarded to:
Mardale – Echoes and Reflections of a Lost Lake District Community by Shap Local History Society. Published by Shap Local History Society.
The Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscape and Tradition was awarded to:
The English Lakes: A History by Ian Thompson
The David Winkworth Prize for Illustration and Presentation was awarded to:
Jack’s Yak by Keith Richardson. Published by River Greta Writer.
The Bookends Prize for Arts and Literature was awarded to:
Dear Mary, Love Percy edited by Mary Burkett and David Cross. Published by Skiddaw Press, Cockermouth.
The award luncheon was rounded off with the presentation of the inaugural annual Hunter Davies Writer’s Bursaries, specifically designed to support anyone financially who has a worthwhile idea for a book about Cumbria, contributing funds towards their research time, writing time or towards publishing their book. The 2012 bursaries were awarded to:
1/ Ian Hall
2/ Margaret Poland
3/ Ian Hill
Ian Stephens, Cumbria Tourism’s Managing Director said: "The Lakeland Book of the Year Awards are a constant source of inspiration and information for all those that love this magnificent County. The vast library of books about its people, places, flora and fauna, our rich cultural heritage and full range of factual and fictional writing never ceases to amaze me. Cumbria truly is an inspirational place; we are all pleased to be able to recognise the writing talent within the county through these awards, long may they continue."