Poetry News

UK Forward Poetry Prize List Reveals 'Powerful Year For Poetry'

By Harriet Staff

Forward Prize

The verdict is in: Jeanette Winterson, chair of judges for the UK's Forward Prize, has hailed this year as a "powerful year of poetry." After reading descriptions of the projects by shortlisted authors, we do agree! Liz Bury of The Guardian writes:

The shortlists for the 2013 Forward poetry prizes have been announced, reflecting modern preoccupations ranging from the internet dating to 21st-century psalms and karaoke bars to documentary poems.

The shortlist for the £10,000 best collection award is headed by Michael Symmons Roberts, who won the Whitbread award for poetry in 2004, and Glyn Maxwell, whose collection Pluto examines the language of dating websites: "Together would be easy … We sent some messages, Lynn & Greg, made a date … She texted me some shite / about her kid being ill and I had to write / I hope he gets better soon while harbouring doubts / he was ever born."

Rebecca Goss is shortlisted for Her Birth, an autobiographical sequence about the poet's daughter, who was born with an incurable heart condition; Sinead Morrissey for Parallax, her examination of what's caught and lost in the act of photography; and Jacob Polley for The Havocs, a collection that conjures horror and unsettling comedy from traditional forms.

The chair of judges, Jeanette Winterson, hailed a "powerful year for poetry".

"We made our choices looking for poems that used a lit-up living language and had a sense of purpose," she said.

As if your summer reading tote-bag wasn't already full! (There's always room for more!) Read more about Forward prize short-listsers at The Guardian.

Originally Published: July 9th, 2013