Deadline nears for Saboteur award nominations
A set of awards that recognises the huge amount of activity that operates below the radar of the big poetry prizes has opened for nominations. The Saboteur awards, organised by Sabotage Reviews, has 12 categories, including best spoken word regular night, show, and performer; best innovative publisher; best poetry pamphlet; and best anthology.
Last year’s winners included Jo Bell’s 52 Project, Jackie Hagan, and Hollie McNish, with the 2015 shortlist attracting almost 4,000 votes from the public.
Claire Trevien, editor in chief of Sabotage Reviews, said: “For me, the most rewarding part of the Saboteur awards is discovering the amazing new work that the indie literature scene is producing all the time. Because these awards are entirely decided by audiences, both at nomination and shortlist stage, the most fresh, vibrant and exciting work is able to rise to the surface. These are not projects decided by a panel to reach some arbitrary notion of 'art' – these are the works, writers and publishers that people get excited about, that they truly love.”
Susannah Herbert, director of the Forward Prizes and National Poetry Day, said: “In poetry, if the stale old hierarchies - page v stage, artist v critic, establishment v avant-garde - are crumbling, it's because of the work encouraged by Sabotage.”
Jacqueline Saphra, co-winner of Best Collaborative Work 2015, said: “It is a very particular and unique honour and pleasure to win a Saboteur award in a hierarchical world where it frequently seems as if a small number of people have overall control over who is chosen, and the field itself is often very narrow. The Saboteur awards are open to all comers, and celebrate all that is thriving and alive in contemporary British poetry.”
Nominations are open until 24 April, and the shortlist will be announced on 1 May. The second round of voting, for those on the shortlist, is from 1-24 May, with the awards evening on 27 May at Vout-O-Reenees, in London.