New performed poem category at Forwards next year 'to rebalance historical inequities'
There was an intriguing moment last week at the Forward prizes ceremony at Contact theatre in Manchester, when organisers revealed that next year there will be a new prize category - Best Single Poem, Performed.
This category will be judged in 2023 by Joelle Taylor, winner of this year’s TS Eliot prize. Mónica Parle, co-executive director of the Forward Arts Foundation, said the new prize would seek “to rebalance historical inequities in our emphasis on written over performed poetry … We also hope it will increase the ways poets and audiences access and engage with the prizes.”
Joelle Taylor said: ‘This new category is great news for the wide range of poetics on offer, and will undoubtedly revive a scene damaged by the pandemic. I’m excited to be working with Forward to develop a new element to their work that reflects my long engagement in performance and spoken word.”
The organisers are hoping to announce more details about the new prize within a few days, and to invite submissions early in the new year.