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Shortlists announced for the Forward Prizes for Poetry 2012

19 July 2012

Demonstrating the rich variety of poetry being written in English, the shortlists for the Forward Prizes for Poetry 2012 includes some of the most celebrated poets from around the world, as well the most confident and original voices from an abundant crop of emerging talent. This year's shortlists see some familiar names, including past Eric Gregory awards winners Geoffrey Hill (1961) and Sam Riviere (2009), Selima Hill who won a Cholmondeley award (1986), and Michael Longley who has won both an Eric Gregory award (1965) and a Cholmondeley award (1993).

Highlights include:

  • Oxford Professor of Poetry Geoffrey Hill, shortlisted for Best Collection for the second consecutive year, alongside Jorie Graham, “perhaps the most celebrated poet of the American post-war generation" (Poetry Foundation), and Australian poet Barry Hill, whose collection of poems have all been inspired by the paintings of Lucian Freud.
  • Shortlisted for Best First Collection, Rhian Edwards and Jacob Sam-La Rose, both celebrated for bridging the gap between ‘page’ and ‘performance’ poetry, as well as Lucy Hamilton for a collection of prose poems.
  • For Best Single Poem, Denise Riley’s first poem for 5 years, concerned with the death of her son in 2008; a reflection by Michael Longley CBE on the response, in 1960, of his dying father to his first published poem - “Not worth the paper it’s printed on”; and a fugue by New York poet Marilyn Hacker.   

The shortlists are:

The Forward Prize for Best Collection

£10,000 – sponsored by the Forward Arts Foundation

Beverley Bie Brahic - White Sheets (CB Editions)
Jorie Graham - P L A C E (Carcanet Press)
Barry Hill - Naked Clay: Drawing from Lucian Freud (Shearsman Books)
Geoffrey Hill - ODI BARBARE (Clutag Press)
Selima Hill - People Who Like Meatballs (Bloodaxe Books)

The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection

£5,000 – sponsored by Felix Dennis and the Forward Arts Foundation

Loretta Collins Klobah - The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman (Peepal Tree Press)
Rhian Edwards - Clueless Dogs (Seren)
Lucy Hamilton - Stalker (Shearsman Books)
Sam Riviere - 81 Austerities (Faber and Faber)
Jacob Sam-La Rose - Breaking Silence (Bloodaxe Books)

The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in memory of Michael Donaghy

£1,000 – sponsored by the Forward Arts Foundation

Greta Stoddart - Deep Sea Diver (Magma Poetry)
Denise Riley - A Part Song (London Review of Books)
Michael Longley - Marigolds, 1960 (London Review of Books)
John Kinsella - Mea Culpa: Cleaning the Gutters (The Warwick Review)
Marilyn Hacker - Fugue on a line of Amr bin M'ad Yakrib (The Wolf Magazine)

The judging panel for the Forward Prizes for Poetry 2012 is chaired by Leonie Rushforth,  a poet and teacher who was a Forward Prize judge last year . She is joined by fellow poets Ian McMillan and Alice Oswald, along with Emma Hogan, a literary critic who writes on poetry for The Economist  amongst others, and Megan Walsh, feature writer, assistant editor and critic on The Times Saturday Review

The winners of the Forward Prizes will be announced on Wednesday 3 October, the eve of National Poetry Day, at a ceremony in Somerset House, London. The Forward Book of Poetry 2013, an anthology of poems from this year’s Prizes highly commended by the judges, will also be published on the same day.

To read the full press release, click here.

To read more about the Forward Arts Foundation, visit their website: www.forwardartsfoundation.org

Don't forget National Poetry Day on Thursday 6 October - www.nationalpoetryday.co.uk



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