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Publisher/poet wins Goldsmith’s Prize

12 November 2018

‘I work in a pressure-cooker system where I hope that I can store up all the thoughts and lines and phrases and when I do finally get away to some retreat somewhere I can uncork the bottle in a satisfying way, to release tension, and something will be there. It's easier with poetry because you can approach it that way, novels are much longer-haul and you need a longer trajectory.

I've worked there for nearly half a lifetime, I'm afraid. But you don't leave a place like Cape because there's nowhere better to be as a publisher.

On the importance of literary prizes, ‘It's an external validation, we all like to have our work approved of in some way. The money is very welcome of course but it's more the judgement of your peers and fellow writers, it's very satisfying... rather peculiar to me that I understand it to be a long narrative poem and it's been on two fiction awards' shortlists, and now to win a prize for experimental fiction when you've written a long poem is slightly confusing - but I'll take that confusion.'

Robin Robertson, who has published four poetry collections and is associate publisher working across Cape's fiction and poetry lists with authors such as Irvine Welsh, James Wood, Anne Enright and Ocean Vuong, in the Bookseller.