Forward Prizes shortlists revealed

Forward Prizes shortlists revealed

Irish poetry publisher The Gallery Press has two collections shortlisted on the Forward Prize for Best Collection award.

The Forward Prizes, now in their 24th year, today (8th June) announced the shortlists for the three annual awards, which celebrate established and emerging poets.

The judging panel for the prizes looked at 204 collections and 227 single poems before deciding on the 15-strong shortlist – five for each award.

The Gallery Press is represented on the shortlist for the £10,000 Forward Prize for Best Collection by poets Ciaran Carson for From Elsewhere and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin for The Boys of Bluehill.

Joining them on the shortlist is Paul Muldoon for One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (Faber & Faber), Claudine Rankine for Citizen: An American Lyric (Penguin Books), and Peter Riley for Due North (Shearsman).

Independent publishers are represented strongly on the shortlist for the £5,000 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection (£5,000). Mona Arshi makes the list for Small Hands (Liverpool University Press, Pavilion Poetry), Matthew Siegel for Blood Work (CB Editions), and Karen McCarthy Woolf for An Aviary of Small Birds (Carcanet).

The remaining two spots are taken by poets published by Penguin Random House. Sarah Howe is shortlisted for Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus), and Andrew McMillan is shortlisted for ‘physical’ (Cape Poetry).

The final award is the £1,000 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. The shortlisted poets are Maura Dooley for ‘Cleaning Jim Dine’s Heart’ (Poetry Review); Andrew Elliott for ‘Döppelganger’ (Sonofabook); Ann Gray for ‘My Blue Hen’ (The Moth); Claire Harman for ‘The Mighty Hudson’ (TLS); and Kim Moore for ‘In That Year’ (Poetry News).

Writer and broadcaster A L Kennedy, chair of the 2015 Forward Prizes jury, said: “My fellow judges and I were exhilarated to read experienced writers who were extending their abilities: it’s very clear that a wonderfully vibrant new generation of poets is emerging. It was also particularly heartening to note so many different sources of material, the wide-ranging scope and radical edge of poets working today. Amongst our finest practitioners, poetry is still a medium for the discussion and exploration of anything and everything – just as it should be.”

Also on the judging panel are BBC producer Emma Harding and the poets Colette Bryce, Carrie Etter and Warsan Shire, the first Young Poet Laureate for London.

William Sieghart, chairman of the Forward Arts Foundation, which runs the prizes, said: “The diversity and ambition seen on the shortlists bear witness to a transformative moment for poetry publishing in the UK and Ireland.”

The winners will be announced on 28th September at Southbank Centre in London.