Forward Books of Poetry

The Forward Book of Poetry 2016 cover

The Forward Book of Poetry 2016 cover

“These annual anthologies of the poems in the running for the Forward Prizes remain the best way of encountering the richness that new poetry has to offer.”
The Daily Telegraph

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The Forward Book of Poetry 2016, the 24th annual anthology of the best of the year’s poetry, can be bought here. It features work by all the poets shortlisted for this year’s Forward Prizes, plus around 60 poems highly commended by the panel of judges, who selected work from 185 poetry collections published in the previous twelve months. Highly commended names to look out for include Clive James, Don Paterson and Kate Tempest.

Last year’s Forward Book of Poetry 2015 can be ordered here as both a book and an eBook. And if you want an overview of the judges’ selections for the century’s first decade, then take a look at Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry, which is currently the best-selling poetry anthology in the UK, and a set-text at English Literature A Level.

Dove Grey Reader, the UK’s most influential book blogger, writes: “The annual Forward anthologies, a collection of poems from the cream of contemporary poetry published in Britain and Ireland in the previous year (sixty plus poets in this volume) offer a really useful introduction to what is out there, especially if, like me, you look at the poetry section in a bookshop and wonder where to start. There is longevity to poetry, a constant revisiting and re-reading that will last a lifetime, making it such a good investment, but choosing a book of poetry is so utterly subjective. We may all need differing degrees of consolation, or teaching, or warning, or cheering, or uplifting, or empathy at any one time, and words have the power to achieve it all in great measure, but the buying decision can be a hard one to make on the hoof. This anthology offers the opportunity to explore many different voices, and I loved it from the minute I opened it.”

The first Forward Book was published in 1992 by our sponsors and supporters Forward Publishing – now Forward Worldwide. The aim, then as now, was to bring together the most interesting contemporary poetry published in Britain and Ireland over the previous year.

Read the press release for the Forward Book of Poetry 2016 here.