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Posts Tagged ‘Armando Iannucci’

BBC Poetry Series Drives Sales

JohnDonne.jpgA recent spate of poetry-related material has driven poetry sales in the U.K., selling copies of books that had languished on national shelves.

According to Bookseller, the BBC’s Poetry Season project actually motivated people to go to the bookstore. The multimedia series–with video interviews, articles, and a long list of poetry specials–generated a 92 percent increase in sales of Sylvia Plath poetry and a 300 percent increase in sales of John Donne (pictured, via) poetry.

Here’s more from the article: “According to Nielsen BookScan, sales of John Milton‘s Paradise Lost increased three-fold during the week following Armando Iannucci‘s analysis of the poem on BBC2 on 27th May, while sales of John Murray‘s £20 volume, The Collected Poems of George Mackay Brown, have increased by 844.4%, thanks to the poet’s ‘Hamnavoe’ being highlighted on BBC4′s ‘Poet’s Guide to Britain.’”

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Stef Penney’s Surprise Costa Win

While some punters bet heavily on William Boyd to take the prize, while the William Hill crew bet on Brian Thompson‘s autobiography KEEPING MUM, the overall winner of the Costa Book Awards turned out to be Stef Penney, who had taken the Debut prize for her first novel, THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES. Penney’s win is all the more remarkable, the Telegraph reports, because she revealed to the paper last month that her book was rejected by “quite a lot” of publishers before being bought by the small new publisher, Quercus. Then there’s her much-discussed agoraphobia that prevented her from travelling to Canada to research the book – instead, she did much of her work at the British Library. “My first hope was that the Canadians wouldn’t shoot me,” she said before collecting her prize.

But the 10-strong judging panel, including chairman Armando Iannucci, broadcasters Kate Adie and Clive Anderson, and Carol Thatcher, daughter of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, took little more than an hour to pick Penney’s novel. “We felt that it was not just an extraordinary first novel but an extraordinary novel,” said Ianucci. “It was an amazingly ambitious undertaking which was achieved completely.”