Friday, July 05, 2013

Forward Poetry Prize 2013 - Surprises?

I now can't find the link to this, but the judges of this year's Forward Poetry prizes have said that there will be 'surprises'. This is good news - if it comes to pass. There are always a few surprises in the First Collection category - it's impossible to predict the shortlist in that one, but surprises in the main shortlist have been very, very thin on the ground for the last few years. The biggest surprise would be if that changed in any way! But let's test it out. There are no surprises if this is the shortlist (books need to have been published between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013 - presumably the summer 2013 books come to the judges in ms form):

Michael Symmons Roberts – Drysalter (Cape)
Anne Stevenson – Astonishment (Bloodaxe)
Dannie Abse – Speak, Old Parrot (Hutchison)
Robin Robertson – Hill of Doors (Cape)
Kathleen Jamie – The Overhaul (Picador)
Fiona Sampson – Coleshill (Chatto & Windus)
Glyn Maxwell – Pluto (Picador)
Anne Carson – Red Doc > (Cape)
David Morley – The Gypsy and the Poet (Carcanet)
George Szirtes – Bad Machine (Bloodaxe)

In addition, I wouldn't bat an eyelid of any of these ones were on it:

Ahren Warner – Pretty (Bloodaxe)
W.N. Herbert – Omnesia (Bloodaxe)
Jacob Polley – The Havocs (Picador)
Andrew Motion – The Customs House (Faber)
Fleur Adcock – Glass Wings (Bloodaxe)
Nick Laird – Go Giants (Faber)
Alison Brackenbury - Then (Carcanet)
Maurice Riordan – The Water Stealer (Faber)
Matthew Francis – Muscovy (Faber)

Now, some of these books are extremely good and would deserve their place on a shortlist. Some of them - in my opinion, of course! - definitely wouldn't... I have probably missed several non-surprises, forgetting they've been published etc, so feel free to add to the list.

The shortlist is announced this Monday 8 July. I hope I am surprised!

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