Heaney and Robertson among Forward shortlistees
Cancer, mental illness, youth violence and pirates are just some of the themes covered in the shortlists for The Forward Prizes 2010.
The shortlists for the three Forward prizes were announced today. On the Best Collection shortlist two former category winners will compete with poets on the list for the first time. Seamus Heaney has been nominated for the prize alongside Robin Robertson, previous winner of all three Forward Prizes.
Poet and author Ruth Padel is chair of the judges, with poet and columnist Hugo Williams, performance poet Dreadlockalien, journalist and broadcaster Alex Clark, and actress and director Fiona Shaw also on the panel.
Padel said: “It is an astonishing year for poetry, with an unusually wide range as well as high standard – from international luminaries, much-loved British voices and exciting newcomers. With very different tastes and areas of expertise, we spent eight hours reading poems aloud to each other: beautiful lyrics, prose poems, daring modernists and some very funny surrealists.
“It was tough, whittling a rainbow down to a shortlist, and giving up many books we really loved, which in other years would have certainly been on the shortlist. But what we have got represents the quality and brilliant variety of poetry and poetry publishing in Britain today.”
The winners will be announced on 6th October, the eve of National Poetry Day, at a ceremony in Somerset House, London.