[Spellyans] Holyer an Gof 2010

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Tue Aug 17 19:22:40 BST 2010

About a month ago, the Holyer an Gof 2010 winners have been announced: http://www.gorsethkernow.org.uk/english/competitions/awards10.htm

THe prize was shared between two books:

Joint Winner – Cornish Language Board. An Gerlyver Meur. Dr. Ken George.
Joint Winner – Kowethas an Yeth. Kanow Flehes. (compilation).

So, the winning prize in the Cornish language section was shared jointly between yet another of Ken George's KK dictionaries (the one that says that wosa/woja should become wozha) and a re-edition of a short book of children's songs in the SWF/M. I haven't seen the latter, so I don't can't comment on it, but at http://www.learncornish.net/books-novels/kanow-flehes the book is described thus:

"This book and DVD set includes 24 children’s songs in Cornish. The book uses the Standard Written Form and features illustrations by Rachel Axtell, and the DVD contains videos of the songs being sung by children from Marlborough Primary School in Falmouth. Kanow Flehes is suitable for use by schools as well as families who are teaching their children Cornish. An English translation of the songs is included on the DVD."

Hey, neat. Twenty-four children's songs.

I can't speak for other publishers who forward books in the Cornish language category, but I can say that Evertype forwarded eight books to the competition:

** Cornish Language section
Alys in Pow an Anethow (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)
Adro dhe’n Bÿs in Peswar Ugans Dëdh (Around the World in 80 Days)
Kensa Lyver Redya (A First Reading Book)
Jowal Lethesow: Whedhel a’n West a Gernow (The Lyonesse Stone: A Story of the West of Cornwall) 

** Adult fiction section

** Non-fiction section
Lyver Pejadow rag Kenyver Jorna: Cornish Daily Prayer
A Concise Dictionary of Cornish Place-Names
Skeul an Tavas: A coursebook in Standard Cornish

In previous years, High Commendations and Commendations have been awarded for books in the Cornish Language Section.

For books published in 2009, no such awards have been made. No High Commendations. No Commendations. To anybody. 

Certainly I *never* expected to win first prize. That would have been unthinkable. I'm an Irish publisher who has opposed Kernewek Kemmyn, after all. Indeed I would have predicted that politics *would* have handed first prize to Ken George. That he had to share the prize must be a political statement. I suspect the reasoning was "Well, we can't give a prize to the KK book on its own, since we're supposed to be supporting the SWF, and there aren't really any books published in the SWF except this reprint here...." 

But I did expect *some* notice to be taken of the 125,000 words of Cornish which I published in 2009. So what was the rationale here? It was either "Well, we could give a commendation to this Irish publisher's books. They are rather nice-looking. The Cornish is even good." or it was "Oh, no, we'd better not commend this Irish publisher's books. He's not using either KK or the SWF. We mustn't have that."

What do you think?

It almost looks as though Gorseth Kernow wishes to suppress Evertype's books and discourage people from knowing that they are available. Certainly, in offering a joint first prize to the Kesva/Cowethas and no other prizes to any other publishers, Gorseth Kernow is making the statement that no books of merit, apart from yet another KK dictionary and a re-spelt pamphlet of children's songs, appeared in 2009. 

I don't think they're right about that. 

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

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