Burnside, Miller and Williams up for Forward Best Collection

Burnside, Miller and Williams up for Forward Best Collection

John Burnside, Kei Miller and Hugo Williams are among the poets shortlisted for the £10,000 Forward Prize for Best Collection.

The three 2014 Forward Poetry Prizes celebrating the best of the year’s poetry, awarding the best collection, best first collection and best single poem.

Shortlisted for the £10,000 Forward Prize for Best Collection are Colette Bryce for The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (Picador Poetry); John Burnside for All One Breath (Cape Poetry); Louise Glück for Faithful and Virtuous Night (Carcanet); Kei Miller for The Cartographer Tries to Map A Way to Zion (Carcanet); and Hugo Williams for I Knew the Bride (Faber & Faber).

The shortlist for the £5,000 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection is made up of Liz Berry for Black Country (Chatto & Windus); Fiona Benson for Bright for Travellers (Cape Poetry); Niall Campbell for Moontide (Bloodaxe Books); Beatrice Garland for The Invention of Fireworks (Templar Poetry); Kevin Powers for Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting (Sceptre); and Vidyan Ravinthiran for Grun-tu-molani (Bloodaxe Books).

The Best Single Poem award is a £1,000 prize for which only award-winning poems and published works not yet collected in book form are eligible. Shortlisted for the prize are Tim Nolan for "Red Wing Correctional Facility," from Troubadour International Poetry Prize; Denise Riley for "After La Rochefoucauld", from Eggbox/UEA Poetry Series; Stephen Santus for "In a Restaurant", from The Bridport Prize; Jack Underwood for "Thank you for your email", from the White Review; and Jeffrey Wainwright for "An Empty Street", from PN Review.

Jeremy Paxman, chair of this year's judging panel, said: "What you're looking for is to be surprised: sometimes by the choice of subject, always by the quality of perception and above all by the language. There's a whole pile of really good poems here. I surrendered my personal preferences very early on in the judging process but there's nothing on the shortlist that I don't feel better for having read.”

Joining Paxman on the panel are musician Cerys Matthews, and poets Dannie Abse, Helen Mort and Vahni Capildeo.

The panel read 170 collections and 254 single poems before arriving at the shortlist.
William Sieghart, who founded the Forward Prizes in 1991, said: "The writers on this shortlist bring news that stays news, in fresh and startling language. Their voices remind readers that, in an age of shortened attention spans, good poetry can communicate insights and visions with a power other art forms can only envy."

The Forward Prizes will be awarded at Southbank Centre on Tuesday 30th September, with the 23rd annual Forward Book of Poetry (Faber & Faber) launched on the same day.