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The Forward Prizes for Poetry

The Forward Prizes for Poetry are the most coveted awards for poetry published in Britain and Ireland: they have played an key role in bringing contemporary poetry to the attention of the wider public for quarter of a century.

They were set up in 1991 by philanthropist William Sieghart to celebrate excellence in poetry and increase its audience, and are awarded to published poets for work in print in the last year.

The 2017 winners were announced  at a ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on 21 September 2017. Last year winners were: Sinéad Morrisey, winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, for On Balance, Ocean Vuong, winner of the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection, for Nigth Sky with Exit Wounds,  and Ian Patterson, winner of the Forward Prize Best Single Poem Shortlist, for The Plenty of Nothing.

The 2018 prize will be chaired by writer, critic, broadcaster and film-maker Bidisha. Joining him on the panel are poets Mimi Khalvati, Chris McCabe, Niall Campbell, and vlogger, poet and author Jen Campbell.

The Shortlists were announced on 24th May and the Prizes will be awarded at a public event on 18th September, where shortlisted poets are invited to read their work, at the Southbank Centre in London.

 

 

 

2018 Shortlist for The Forward Prize for Best Collection

Venus as a Bear
(Paperback)
Vahni Capildeo
 
The new collection from the winner of the 2016 Forward Prize for Best Collection, the 2016 Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize (Measures of...
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Assurances
(Paperback)
J. O. Morgan
 
A war-poem both historic and frighteningly topical, Assurances begins in the 1950s during a period of vigilance and dread in the middle of the Cold War: the long stand-off between...
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Black Sun
(Paperback)
Toby Martinez de las Rivas
 
Black Sun confronts the dark dreams and hidden powers of this world, and, through the poet's attentive watching and wondering, offers its readers a way 'to know - & still...
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Don't Call Us Dead
(Paperback)
Danez Smith
 
*A FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POETRY 2017*`[Smith's] poems are enriched to the point of volatility, but they pay out, often, in sudden joy' The New Yorker Award-winning...
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Wade in the Water
(Paperback)
Tracy K. Smith
 
Even the men in black armor, the ones Jangling handcuffs and keys, what else Are they so buffered against, if not love's blade Sizing up the heart's familiar...
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2018 Shortlist for The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection

Calling a Wolf a Wolf
(Paperback)
Kaveh Akbar
 
A POETRY BOOK SOCIETY RECOMMENDATION I could not be held responsible for desire he could not be held at all Tracking the joys and pains of the path through...
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Jinx
(Paperback)
Abigail Parry
 
Abigail Parry's first collection is concerned with spells, and ersatz spells: with semblance and sleight-of-hand. It takes its formal cues from moth-camouflage and stage magic, from the mirror-maze and the...
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Shrines of Upper Austria
(Paperback)
Phoebe Power
 
First full debut from a promising young poet reflects a risky exploration of the unfamiliar and a search for strangeness, spirituality and stories.
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Everyone Knows I am a Haunting
(Paperback)
Shivanee Ramlochan
 
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Soho
(Paperback)
Richard Scott
 
In this intimate and vital debut, Richard Scott creates an uncompromising portrait of love and gay shame.
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Previous winners: Forward Prize for Best Collection

2017 On Balance by Sinéad Morrisey

2016: Measures of Expatriation by Vahni Capildeo (Carcanet Press)

2015: Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (Penguin Books)

2014 The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion by Kei Miller

2013 Drysalter by Michael Symmons Roberts

2012 P L A C E by Jorie Graham

2011 Black Cat Bone by John Burnside

2010 Human Chain by Seamus Heaney

2009 Rain by Don Paterson

2008 The Lost Leader by Mick Imlah

2007 The Drowned Book by Sean O'Brien

2006 Swithering by Robin Robertson

2005 Legion by David Harsent

2004 The Tree House by Kathleen Jamie

2003 Breaking News by Ciarán Carson (currently unavailable)

2002 Max is Missing by Peter Porter

2001 Downriver by Sean O'Brien

2000 Conjure by Michael Donaghy

1999 My Life Asleep by Jo Shapcott

1998 Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes

1997 The Marble Fly by Jamie McKendrick

1996 Stones and Fires by John Fuller (currently unavailable)

1995 Ghost Train by Sean O'Brien

1994 Harm by Alan Jenkins

1993 Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy

1992 The Man with Night Sweats by Thom Gunn

 

Previous winners: Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection

2017 Nigth Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

2016 Wife by Tiphanie Yanique

2015 Small Hands by Mona Arshi

2014 Black Country by Liz Berry

2013 Dear Boy by Emily Berry

2012 81 Austerities by Sam Riviere

2011 Sidereal by Rachael Boast

2010 Berg by Hilary Menos

2009 The Striped World by Emma Jones

2008 Sunday at the Skin Launderette by Kathryn Simmonds

2007 Look We Have Coming to Dover! By Daljit Nagra

2006 Countries of the Body by Tishani Doshi

2005 Intimates by Helen Farish

2004 These Days by Leontia Flynn

2003 Fire Stations by A B Jackson

2002 Touching the Bones by Tom French

2001 The Panoramic Lounge Bar by John Stammers

2000 In by Andrew Waterhouse (currently unavailable)

1999 The Man in the White Suit by Nick Drake

1998 The Boy from the Chemist is Here to See You by Paul Farley

1997 A Painted Field by Robin Robertson

1996 Slattern by Kate Clanchy

1995 Breathe Now, Breathe by Jane Duran

1994 Progeny of Air by Kwame Dawes

1993 Nil Nil by Don Paterson

1992 Kid by Simon Armitage

 

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