The shortlists for this year's Forward prizes
A poetry collection about which a Write Out Loud reviewer wrote, “I will be surprised if it is not shortlisted for an award or two. It certainly should be”, is a contender for this year’s £10,000 Forward prize for best collection. Kim Moore’s All The Men I Never Married (Seren), has been shortlisted alongside Pilgrim Bell by Kaveh Akbar (Chatto & Windus); Sonnets for Albert by Anthony Joseph (Bloomsbury); Cain Named the Animal by Shane McRae (Little Brown); and The Illustrated Woman by Helen Mort (Chatto & Windus).
Shortlisted for the £5,000 Felix Dennis prize for best first collection are Rifqa by Mohammed El-Kurd (Haymarket); The English Summer by Holly Hopkins (Penned in the Margins); Some Integrity by Padraig Regan (Carcanet); Blessed the Daughter Raised by a Voice in her Head by Warsan Shire (Chatto & Windus); and Amnion by Stephanie Sy-Quia (Granta).
Write Out Loud’s reviewer Greg Freeman said: “I have attended nearly all the Forward prize hearings since 2011, either in-person or online, and I have a very bad track record in picking the winner. But I do think Kim Moore should have a good chance.”
Contenders for the £1,000 Forward prize for best single poem are ‘Dog on a British Airways Airbus 319-100’ by Louisa Campbell; ‘I’m Shouting I LOVED YOUR DAD at my Brother’s Cat’ by Cecilia Knapp; ‘Up Late’ by Nick Laird; ‘Scattered Snows, to the North’ by Carl Phillips; and ‘Pollen’ by Clare Pollard.
This year’s Forward judges are novelist and activist Fatima Bhutto, chair, and poets Rishi Dastidar, Alice Hiller, Nadine Aisha Jassat and Stephen Sexton.