Forward thinking

July 23, 2009

Forward cover 2009The Forward Prize shortlists have been announced, after ‘a record number of submissions’. The £10,000 Best Collection category  is a who’s who of contemporary poetry titans: Don Paterson for his yet to-be-published Rain; Peter Porter for his 18th collection, Better Than God; Glyn Maxwell for his ninth collection Hide Now; Christopher Reid for A Scattering, the first book published by Arete Magazine edited by Craig Raine; Hugo Williams for his autobiographical West End Final and Sharon Olds for One Secret Thing.

In the Best First Collection category are: Wordsworth Trust’s Poet in Residence Emma Jones for The Striped WorldSiân Hughes, a postgraduate student at Warwick who is nominated for The Missing; Swansea-born Meirion Jordan for Moonrise; Lorraine Mariner, who works at the Southbank Centre’s Poetry Library, for Furniture; JO Morgan for Natural Mechanical, a book-length poem charting the self-education of Iain “Rocky” Rockcliffe as he truants from his school on Skye; and Meghan O’Rourke for Halflife.

The prize for best single poem will be contested by Paul Farley for ‘Moles’; Michael Longley for ‘Visiting Stanley Kunitz’; Robin Robertson for ‘At Roane Road’; Elizabeth Speller for ‘Finistere’; George Szirtes for ‘Song’; and CK Williams for ‘Either/Or’.

Many of the shortlisted will be appearing in Edinburgh this festival: at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Sunday 23 August at 7pm, Sharon Olds; Don Paterson, reading alongside John Burnside, will be there on Sunday 29 August at 2.30pm; Peter Porter and Hugo Williams are reading with CK Stead on Saturday 22 August at 10.15am; Emma Jones is reading there with Gillian Clarke and Lorna Crozier on Monday 24 August at 10.15am; Robin Robertson with Michael Symmons Roberts on Sunday 23 August at 4.30pm. J O Morgan will read from Natural Mechanical and discuss book binding at the West Port Book Festival on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 August. Emma Jones is conducting a residential weekend course in Cumbria with Jacob Polley in November.

One Response to “Forward thinking”


  1. […] so to the point of this post! Prizes! Last night was the Forward Prize ceremony. We blogged the shortlist back in July, and last night the winners were Don Paterson for best collection Rain, Emma Jones […]


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