Twenty 'Next Generation Poets' of the decade named

Twenty 'Next Generation Poets' of the decade named

The Poetry Book Society has named its 2014 Next Generation Poets, with women dominating the list.

The Next Generation Poets list names 20 poets once every 10 years who are expected to dominate the poetry landscape of the coming decade. All are from the UK and Ireland and have published their first collection of poetry within the last 10 years.

Among this year’s list are south London-based performance poet Kate Tempest, the youngest person on the list at the age of 27; Lucian Freud's daughter, Annie Freud, who is the oldest person on the list at 66; the youngest ever T S Eliot Prize winner, Jen Hadfield; and five-time winner of the Foyle Young Poets Award, Helen Mort.

Also named are 2009 Man Booker Prize shortlistee and Granta ‘Best Young Novelist' Adam Foulds; Daljit Nagra, who has won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and has been shortlisted for both the T S Eliot Prize and the Costa Poetry Award; and Sam Willetts, whose collection focuses on the years he spent homeless and addicted to heroin.

The judges were chaired by poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan, who said: “The Next Generation Poets are the visible and vocal evidence that poetry is on the crest of the wave at the moment.

“These poets will be leading our national cultural conversation for many years to come. In this group of writers we find an exhilarating mix of style and subject, reflecting a truly diverse range of voices: poetry is in excellent hands.”

“The quality of these collections was hugely impressive but not surprising - most of these poets have been paying their dues for years now on the events circuit and cutting their teeth with short pamphlets. In this way the poetry scene differs from fiction where you often see debut novelists appearing seemingly out of the blue. Poets are made to prove themselves long before their first full collection is ever published.”

The other judges were poet and playwright Caroline Bird; Robert Crawford, from the 1994 New Generation Poets list; poet Clare Pollard; and Paul Farley, from 2004's Next Generation Poets list.

Previous Next Generation Poets include Carol Ann Duffy, Simon Armitage and Alice Oswald.

Next Generation Poets also aims to bring high-quality poetry to a wider audience, and this autumn will see a programme of 23 events involving past and current poets, culminating in a celebration at Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall on 15th March 2015, to which all the poets will be invited.

For the first time in the list's history, video readings, poems and blog posts from the poets, together with video comments from McMillan, at the Next Generation Poets website.

The Poetry Book Society has also created a range of display material for the book trade, and a reader guide booklet for audiences at the events.

The British Council will be collaborating with the Poetry Book Society on an international showcase of contemporary British poetry featuring the Next Generation Poets 2014.

Next Generation Poets 2014 is supported by ACE Grants for the Arts. It is also funded by the T S Eliot Estate as part of a year of supporting poetry to mark the 50th anniversary of T S Eliot's death in January 2015.

The 2014 Next Generation Poets list:

Tara Bergin (This is Yarrow, Carcanet)
Emily Berry (Dear Boy, Faber & Faber)
Sean Borodale (Bee Journal, Jonathan Cape)
Adam Foulds (The Broken Word, Jonathan Cape)
Annie Freud (The Mirabelles, Picador)
Alan Gillis (Here Comes the Night, Gallery)
Rebecca Goss (Her Birth, Carcanet)
Jen Hadfield (Nigh-No-Place, Bloodaxe)
Emma Jones (The Striped World, Faber & Faber)
Luke Kennard (The Harbour Beyond the Movie, Salt)
Melissa Lee-Houghton (Beautiful Girls, Penned in the Margins)
Hannah Lowe (Chick, Bloodaxe)
Kei Miller (A Light Song of Light, Carcanet)
Helen Mort (Division Street, Chatto & Windus)
Daljit Nagra (Look We Have Coming to Dover!, Faber & Faber)
Heather Phillipson (Instant-flex 718, Bloodaxe)
Kate Tempest (Brand New Ancients, Picador)
Mark Waldron (The Brand New Dark, Salt)
Sam Willetts (New Light for the Old Dark, Jonathan Cape)
Jane Yeh (The Ninjas, Carcanet)