Forward Prizes 2016

Forward Prizes for Poetry: 25 Years

The prizes will be awarded at a ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on 20 September 2016. Tickets available here.

The Forward Prize for Best Collection Shortlist (£15,000)

Vahni CapildeoMeasures of Expatriation (Carcanet)
Ian DuhigThe Blind Roadmaker (Picador Poetry)
Choman HardiConsidering the Women (Bloodaxe Books)
Alice OswaldFalling Awake (Cape Poetry)
Denise RileySay Something Back (Picador Poetry)

The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection  Shortlist (£5,000)

Nancy CampbellDisko Bay (Enitharmon Press)
Ron CareyDistance (Revival Press)
Harry GilesTonguit (Freight Books)
Ruby RobinsonEvery Little Sound (Liverpool University Press)
Tiphanie YaniqueWife (Peepal Tree Press)

The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem Shortlist (£1,000)

Sasha Dugdale – ‘Joy’ (PN Review)
David Harsent – ‘from Salt’ (Poetry London)
Solmaz Sharif – ‘Force Visibility’ (Granta Magazine)
Melissa Lee-Houghton – ‘i am very precious’ (Prac Crit)
Rachel Hadas – ‘Roosevelt Hospital Blues’ (Times Literary Supplement)

This is the 25th year of the Forward Prizes for Poetry, the most coveted poetry awards in the UK and Ireland. To celebrate, our lead sponsor, the content marketing agency Forward Worldwide, is increasing the value of the Forward Prize for Best Collection to £15,000 and offering £1,000 to each of the poets shortlisted in this category.

This year’s judging panel is chaired by Malika Booker, writer and multidisciplinary artist, and includes poets George Szirtes and Liz Berry, with singer/songwriter Tracey Thorn and Don Share, editor of Poetry magazine. The prizes will be awarded on 20 September 2016 at the Royal Festival Hall.

The Forward Prizes for Poetry are the most coveted awards for poetry published in Britain and Ireland: they have played a key role in bringing contemporary poetry to the attention of the wider public for quarter of a century. They were set up in 1992 by philanthropist William Sieghart to celebrate excellence in poetry and increase its audience, and are awarded to published poets for work in print in the last year. The three prizes – £15,000 for Best Collection, £5,000 for Best First Collection and £1,000 for Best Single Poem – are unique in honouring both the work of established poets and the debuts of brilliant unknowns. Past Forward Prizes winners include Claudia Rankine, Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Alice Oswald, Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy and Kathleen Jamie.

Read about last year’s laureates, Claudia Rankine, Mona Arshi and Claire Harman. here.