Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Forward Prize Winners 2008

No sooner do I speculate than I find the result in the Guardian:

Best Collection: Mick Imlah - The Lost Leader
Best First Collection: Kathryn Simmonds - Sunday at the Skin Launderette
Best Poem: Don Paterson - Love Poem for Natalie 'Tusja' Beridze

So I guessed one out of three, but the choices all seem fair enough to me.


Anonymous said...

A rather muted affair, not helped by the fact that for disabled access reasons, it had to be held in a room away from most of the rest of us. And hampered by someone (not short-listed) taking ill and requiring an ambulance during the announcements.

I have no quibbles with the winners (there was good stuff on all three lists) though they are not the ones I would have chosen (Hadfield / Barraclough / Turnbull).

Very conservative set of judges though, and that was reflected in the lists and the winners.


Anonymous said...

agree with the conservatism of the judges and feel disappointed by the choice of Don Paterson yet again, plus Frieda Hughes' gushing and fawning comments about DP.

James Wood

Rob said...

I must admit - I really like the Paterson poem. Tim Turnbull's one was terrific. I found it odd that three from the 'best poem' category came from a single competition shortlist. I haven't seen the Heaney - I thought they might have given it to him seeing as he's never won a Forward prize - but he still hasn't.

It's desperately sad to read of Mick Imlah's MN disease.

2 out of 3 for Scottish writers, mind you. That's not a bad haul.

Anonymous said...

I like the Paterson poem too. But there's no doubt that, had it not had his name attached, Poetry Review - and nearly every other mainstream poetry magazine - would have popped it back in the pillar box.

I had a long chat with one of the judges afterwards and it seems they discussed Mick's illness and did their best to ensure that it did not affect their decision. It's a strong book - unusual and not quite of its time, but full of interesting poems.


Rob said...

You might be right with that judgement of DP's poem. It points to a real problem in the magazines rather than with the poem, I think.

Yes, I'm sure Mick Imlah deserved the win. The scope, ambition, and size of that book, coupled with the fact that it is really well written (from the bits I've read, at any rate) must have made it difficult to beat.

apprentice said...

I enjoyed the fact that MI took twenty years to produce a further collection of poetry, which seems a good and fair gestation period if it means producing work of this quality. And it gives hope to those of us who are getting long in the tooth that all may not be lost.

His illness is terribly sad, MN is a cruel and awful disease.

I sorry Jen Hadield didn't win, I think her book and her art work are refreshingly original and she deserves more regonition.