Borders-based artist and publisher Leonard McDermid has won the 2018 Callum Macdonald Memorial Award.
Mr McDermid won the award for his pamphlet ‘Landway’, and was presented with the winning quaich (a two-handled drinking cup) and a cheque for £1,500. He is also eligible for a two-week residency as the Michael Marks Poet in Residence at the Harvard Centre for Hellenic Studies in Greece in July.
The Callum Macdonald Meorial Award, set up in 2001 in memory of literary publisher Callum Macdonald MBE, is awarded to the publisher of an outstanding example of pamphlet poetry but sadly this is the last year the award will be given. In rewarding a publisher, rather than a poet, it is a unique award in Scotland.
The Library’s General Collections Manager, Graeme Hawley, was on the judging panel for the award. He said, “The running of this award has coincided with a period of incredible change with regard to publishing and the audience for poetry itself, with many people now hearing poetry performed on the stage rather than reading it on the page.
‘But the pamphlet still has the power to arrest and delight too, and when text, font, illustration, and subject matter come together equally in a publication, something magical can happen. “Landway” is an exquisite example of this.”
Mr. McDermid established Stichill Marigold Press in 1990, and under this imprint he has written, hand-set, printed and published several unique letterpress pamphlets.
Born in Gravesend in 1933, McDermind studied at Medway College of Art, Brighton College of Art, Newbattle Abbey College, and Edinburgh University. He has lived and worked as a teacher and an artist in the Borders for the past 40 years. He also undertook two appointments as artist to The Marine Society working on merchant vessels.
He covered over fifty thousand ocean miles world-wide, including work on a troopship ferrying troops across the South Atlantic and on a tanker in the Arabian Gulf during the ‘Tanker War’.
This is the second time he has received the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award, having won in 2010 with ‘And For That Minute’.