The shortlist for the 2013 Forward Prizes, the most coveted British awards for poetry, was released in July. The three winners will be announced on October 1 at the Southbank Centre. You can hear the poets shortlisted for the Best Collection and Best First Collection prizes at the launch of the Forward Book of Poetry at Rough Trade East in Brick Lane, London, on September 30.
Jeanette Winterson, who chaired a judging panel consisting of the actor/director Samuel West, the journalist David Mills and the poets Paul Farley and Sheenagh Pugh, said:
“This is 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.”
The Forward prizes are unique in honouring both the work of established poets (Best Collection £10,000) and the debuts of brilliant unknowns (Best First Collection £5,000). The Best Single Poem award (£1,000) is a prize for which only award-winning poems and published works not yet collected in book form are eligible.
The prizes will be awarded by Jeanette Winterson on Tuesday October 1 at the Purcell Room. Tickets for the event, at which Samuel West, Juliet Stevenson, Natascha McElhone and others will read poetry from the shortlist, are now sold out.
The 22nd annual Forward Book of Poetry, containing the judges’ choices of the best of the year’s poems – both shortlisted and highly commended – will be launched on the eve of the prizes, 30 September.
The contenders for the £10,000 Forward Prize for Best Collection are Rebecca Goss, Glyn Maxwell, Sinead Morrissey, Jacob Polley and Michael Symmons Roberts.
The shortlisted poets for the £5,000 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection are Emily Berry, Marianne Burton, Steve Ely, Hannah Lowe, Dan O’Brien and Adam White.
The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem shortlist is C J Allen, Patience Agbabi, Nick Mackinnon, Rosie Sheppard and Hugo Williams.