David Hale is the winner of the 2017 Beverly Prize, organized by Eyewear Publishing and open to outstanding works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry or criticism, from authors writing in English based anywhere in the world. His collection of poetry, Dancing Under A Bloodless Moon, selected by distinguished Canadian critic and poet, Dr Bruce Meyer, will be published by Eyewear next year. The prize also comes with a £500 advance.
David Hale (pictured) was born in Scotland, and currently lives in Gloucestershire, where he passes the time by teaching, setting type, looking after horses and making things. He has two pamphlets out, one from Happenstance and another from Templar. This will be his debut collection.
The judge said of this work: "This is a superb collection of impeccably crafted poems. Hale writes of a world of journeys, mysteriously death-like train travel, in haunting lines that are both melodic and powerfully concrete. I don't think there is a bad line in the entire book. I don't think there is a bad poem in the entire book.
This is a classic collection that draws the reader in, and that leaves a ghostly and almost ethereal afterglow not only with each poem but with the collection as a whole. This is a book worthy of the Beverly Prize. It is a work of high distinction and incredible artistry."
The Runner-Up is Yusuf DeLorenzo for his mystery novel set in Algiers. He worked and studied abroad for 25 years in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. On returning to Fez, Morocco, the last functional medieval city in the world, he began thinking of North Africa as the ideal setting for a sleuth in the midst of the Barbary Pirates. He is presently at work on the seventh book in the series, the first of which placed second in the Royal Palms Literary Awards of the Florida Writers Association.
The Beverly Prize is unusual for its range and scope, and its large shortlists - this year the winner competed against 17 other shortlisted authors from around the world to win. Last year's winner, Sohini Basak, lives in India, and will be in London on July 5th to launch her debut, at the London Review Bookshop.
The prize is named after Beverly Swift, a Quebec-born lawyer and academic, whose passion for books, sense of humour, and compassion for animals, was widely known. She died of cancer over a decade ago and this prize memorialises her.