The Guardian covers the Forwards

Mark Brown, arts correspondent at The Guardian covers this year’s Forward Prizes:

Iambic pentameters, hexameters and trochees have been drawn. Britain’s most valuable poetry prize today releases its shortlist, featuring a higher than usual number of new and emerging poets.

Poems published by specialist presses are also well represented in the Forward poetry prize list, on which women outnumber men for the first time since 1999.

Judges chose six poets from 133 collections they considered for the £10,000 best collection prize, including the prolific Sujata Bhatt, whose poem Search for my Tongue will be familiar to many GCSE English students.

The £5,000 prize for best first collection will be decided between Simon Barraclough for Los Alamos Mon Amour, Andrew Forster for Fear of Thunder, Frances Leviston for Public Dream, Alison McVety for The Night Trotsky Came to Stay, Stephanie Norgate for Hidden River and Kathryn Simmonds for Sunday at the Skin Launderette.

William Sieghart, founder of the awards and chairman of the Forward Arts Foundation, said it was an exciting year for stars of the future as well as poets who deserved more exposure.

He added: “It’s thrilling to see a huge presence of specialist presses who are offering a platform for poets with exceptional futures.” The winners will be announced on October 8.

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