"This glorious anthology of works shortlisted for Britain's most prestigious poetry awards, the Forward Prizes...the writers (collected) give a sense of the mighty task that faced the judges." (Metro
"From new sorcerors (Hannah Lowe, Helen Mort) to master wizards (Anne Stevenson, Dannie Abse, Clive James), this latest gathering of poems shortlisted or commended for the Forward prizes spotlights the everyday magic of verse. A hard-won everyday transcendence looms large (as in Hugo Williams's "From the Dialysis Ward", or Simon Armitage's "Poundland"). Relish too its fine balance (to cite Rosie Shepperd's almost Betjeman-esque tale of motel passion) of "seedy" (or earthy) narrative against "moments of lyrical stillness" (The Independent
"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 and discovered Steve Ely's Incipit Euangelium Secundum Wat Tyler.. (DoveGreyReader
In my bookcase are ranged the Forward prize collections for the last five years. They look so neat, lined up together in their plain white jackets. I bought the Forwards automatically and compulsively each year since 2009 as a poet trying to improve, and eager to read the best. Sometimes the sense of some poems eluded me; sometimes their high quality rather overwhelmed me; but always they provided a guide to the state of modern British and Irish poetry. (WriteOutLoud
The annual collection of poetry from the Forward Prize judges.