- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Poet Jo Shapcott has won Britain’s lucrative Costa Book Award for “On Mutability,” a collection that draws on her experience with breast cancer.

Shapcott said she was shocked to take the 30,000-pound ($48,000) prize, more often won by novelists.

She said late Tuesday the book was “a series of meditations on mortality, some of which are terribly cheerful, in fact ecstatic.”

The Costa prizes are awarded in five categories, with one chosen as the overall winner.

The other finalists were Maggie O’Farrell’s novel “The Hand That First Held Mine,” Kishwar Desai’s debut novel “Witness the Night,” Edmund de Waal’s memoir “The Hare with Amber Eyes” and Jason Wallace’s book for children “Out of Shadows.”

The award is open to writers based in Britain and Ireland.