The judges for 2009 are Phil Bartlett (Chair), Kym Martindale and Ian Smith. Phil Bartlett gives an insight in to the Boardman-Tasker.
The main purpose of the award is to celebrate and publicise mountain books. "Serious" books need all the help they can get these days, and this award is unashamedly serious - though hopefully not boring! Apropos of which, I will be putting my head on the block in my speech and saying something about what I think "literature", certainly "mountain literature", means.
There were 31 entries this year. We've had stuff in every major genre - autobiography, biography, fiction, etc etc - except poetry. And I can tell you that there is a definite geographical bias this year. Half the books on the short-list are based partly or wholly in the pacific north-west - Canadian Rockies, Alaska - and several other entries also take their inspiration from there.
Because there is such a variety of styles of book it is always difficult to choose a short-list. Partly for that reason, I shall be flagging up several books in my speech which we admired but which failed to make the short-list, as well as the shortlisted books themselves. Fellow B-T judges Ian Smith, Kym Martindale and myself have had strenuous and most enjoyable discussions about all of them. There's something for everyone - well, I hope so.
The Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature commemorates the lives of Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker, who disappeared on the North East Ridge of Everest in 1982, and is given to the author, or co-authors of an original work which has made an outstanding contribution to mountain literature. Read more about the Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust.
All of the short-listed books will be on sale at the Kendal Mountain Festival and authors will be on hand to sign these.
Easily accessible from the M6 and by train and there are plenty of accommodation options in and around the town but you need to be on your toes as they fill up very quickly over the Mountain Festival weekend.
For all your questions, accomodation and travel needs go to www.golakes.co.uk here you will find all the information you should need for your visit to Cumbria, alternatively call the accommodation booking line on 0845 450 1199.
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