Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Forward Prize Speculation

The Forward Poetry Prize ceremony is taking place tonight, perhaps the results are already known. However, they’ve not been published yet, which allows me to indulge in a little last-minute speculation. It is speculation, as I haven’t read most of the books and poems – although I’ve read at least a few pages from all of them. Here’s the list, followed by my guesses:

Best collection:
Sujata Bhatt - Pure Lizard
Jamie McKendrick - Crocodiles and Obelisks
Mick Imlah - The Lost Leader
Catherine Smith - Lip
Jane Griffiths - Another Country
Jen Hadfield - Nigh-No-Place

Probable winner – Mick Imlah
Dark Horse – Jen Hadfield

Best first collection:
Simon Barraclough - Los Alamos Mon Amour
Andrew Forster - Fear of Thunder
Frances Leviston - Public Dream
Allison McVety - The Night Trotsky Came to Stay
Stephanie Norgate - Hidden River
Kathryn Simmonds - Sunday at the Skin Launderette

Probable Winner – Frances Leviston
Dark Horse – Simon Barraclough

Best single poem:
Seamus Heaney - Cutaways
Christopher Buehlman - Wanton
Catherine Ormell - Campaign Desk, December 1812
Don Paterson - Love Poem for Natalie 'Tusja' Beridze
Kate Rhodes - Wells-next-the-Sea
Tim Turnbull - Ode on a Grayson Perry Urn

Probable Winner – Seamus Heaney
Dark Horse – Tim Turnbull


Anonymous said...

the guardian and the glasgow herald have it up on their websites already... And you were right about Mick Imlah!

Anonymous said...

Well, there you go.

Were Jen and Simon really the dark horses? And I can't help thinking DP was a very safe bet for the best poem. Congrats to the winners, though, I must get reading! Have you read Mick Imlah's?

Rob said...

I didn't think the judges would choose DP's poem. I thought it might be deemed a bit 'far out', but I was glad to see it win.

I thought Jen and Simon were outsiders with a chance of winning if the judges decided to pull a surprise. As it was, the judges did in the Best First Book category, but with Kathryn Simmonds. I thought that category was impossible to predict. I haven't read KS's book - only a few poems.

In the Best Collection category, I kept hearing Jen, Jane and Catherine being talked about as 'up and coming' writers - it seems odd to me that people on the main Forward shortlist are considered 'up and coming'. I guess that leaves everyone else 'flat on their backs' or even 'sinking in quicksand.'

Matt Merritt said...

Yes, I thought that was a bit odd, too. And I agree with you about the best first collection category - I think Kathryn Simmonds' book would have been marginally my favourite, but it seemed like a very close-run thing.