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Forward Poetry Prize shortlist unveiled

17th July 2012

The shortlist for the 2012 Forward Poetry Prize has been unveiled, with Oxford Professor of Poetry Geoffrey Hill among the contenders for the GBP 10,000 award.

After being shortlisted for his acclaimed work Clavics last year but ultimately missing out on the prize, Hill will be hoping his new collection Odi Barbare finds favour with the 2012 judging panel.

However, he will face stiff competition from his namesake Barry Hill, whose collection Naked Clay: Drawing from Lucian Freud is inspired by the paintings of the revered German-born British artist.

The shortlist is completed by Beverley Bie Brahic's White Sheets, Jorie Graham's P L A C E and People Who Like Meatballs by yet another Hill - Selima Hill.

Leonie Rushforth, chair of this year's judges, said there was no obvious route to the shortlist, recurrence of the surname Hill notwithstanding.

Rushforth added that the 2012 panel, which also includes poets Ian McMillan and Alice Oswald and literary critic Emma Hogan, had to let go of many 'excellent collections' in the process.

The judges' selections suggest 'a vintage year', according to William Sieghart, chairman of the Forward Arts Foundation.

'That so many excellent collections and poems did not make the shortlist is testament to the volume of quality poetry that is being published today,' he added.

The winner of the 2012 Forward Poetry Prize will be announced on October 3rd, ahead of National Poetry Day, and follow in the footsteps of John Burnside, who scooped the 2011 award for Black Cat Bone.

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