News, Poetry

Janette Ayachi and the Saltire Society Award 2019

Janette Ayachi, with her collection Hand Over Mouth Music (Pavilion Poetry, 2019), has been shortlisted for the Saltire Society Poetry Book of the Year Award 2019.

On news of the shortlisting, Janette responded: “’I am so sincerely thrilled and grateful to be shortlisted for this award and seen as I have already overdosed on exclamation marks when sharing the news with my family: I will save only the last one for here! I am also very lucky to have such supportive publishers, without which, my poetry about growing up mixed-race in Scotland would not have been ventilated to one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Scotland, given this platform and a chance to breathe, then sing. Hand Over Mouth Music is finally being heard, and I am so deeply pleased I am floating.  Even if it does not win, this gorgeous vestibule here is just as excitable. Thank you, and thank you, Jupiter. *(insert one more exclamation mark here).”

Pavilion Poetry said: “We are absolutely delighted that Janette Ayachi’s Hand Over Mouth Music has been shortlisted for the Saltire Poetry Book of the Year Award 2019. It is an honour to have published the collection with Pavilion Poetry, with thanks to Deryn Rees-Jones (Series Editor) and Alison Welsby (Editorial Director) – along with the rest of the Pavilion family. But above all we are proud that Janette is receiving such esteemed recognition for her work. Thank you to the judges for their decision, this shortlisting means a great deal to a lot of people and will go a long way in allowing readers to be drawn in to the wonderful mind of Janette Ayachi.”

About Hand Over Mouth Music


Janette Ayachi’s dazzling first collection moves between remembered and imagined spaces as she celebrates the world’s variousness, and the energies and exhaustions of the body. Revelling in the many voices she might find for herself, Ayachi locates herself in both her Algerian and Scottish roots, her relationships with her family and lovers, her own motherhood, and an equally joyful but more precarious exploration of desire. More than anything, this book is a celebration of all Ayachi loves and has loved, especially her own daughters. It is a book that makes a space for itself in the disruptive pleasures of writing, in the face of all that might stifle her, alive to all the potentials of laughter and silence as well as song.”

About The Saltire Society 

We promote the best of what we are culturally in Scotland. Or We promote all that’s best in Scottish culture. We support or highlight great skills or artistic talents that are not often covered in the mainstream media, and we promote excellence in many fields through a series of national awards and scholarships. We also want to promote the best of Scotland for the future, ensuring that great people and their works are part of the legacy we give to future generations.

We wish good luck to all those shortlisted, and offer our congratulations all round.

Stay updated with more news from Pavilion Poetry (@PavilionPoetry), Janette Ayachi (@janetteayachi) and Saltire Society (@Saltire_Society).


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