27 November 2015 13:50

Andrew McMillan has been named the winner of the 2015 Guardian First Book Award for his poetry collection, physical.

Andrew graduated from Lancaster University in 2010, with a degree in English Literature with Creative Writing.

He is the first poet to win the award and only the second to make the shortlist since it was founded in 1999.

His debut collection of poems, physical, interrogates the idea of masculinity, while exploring sensuality and vulnerability.

The Guardian First Book Award, run in conjunction with Waterstones, celebrates the finest first-time writers across all genres who have had their first book published in English in the last year.

Andrew collected his £10,000 prize at a ceremony in London on 25 November.

Professor Sally Bushell, Head of the Department of English and Creative Writing, said: “We are delighted for Andrew; this is terrific recognition and wonderfully well-deserved." 

Claire Armitstead, Guardian books editor and chair of judges, said:  “Nearly 300 years ago Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote in his famous essay, Defence of Poetry, that ‘Poetry enlarges the circumference of the imagination by replenishing it with thoughts of ever new delight’. Shelley’s assertion that ‘poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world’ might seem a bit optimistic in our prosaic times, but Andrew McMillan’s breathtaking collection shows that good poetry can and does still enlarge, replenish and delight.”

This year Andrew was also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.