Congratulations to the winners of the Forward Prizes for Poetry 2018: Phoebe Power, Danez Smith and Liz Berry.
The Forward Poetry Prizes are awarded annually to celebrate the best new poetry published in the UK and Ireland and we are delighted to have been sponsors since their inception in 1991. We also produce an annual anthology that includes all the shortlisted entries as well as a selection of highly commended poems, along with bumper books to mark milestones such as the 25th year of the Prizes. Our most recent Poems of the Decade anthology is currently on the A level syllabus in the UK, introducing a new generation of young people to contemporary poetry.
Judging panels are made up of a mix of poets and non-poets: as well as recognizing the work of new and established voices, the Prizes aim to bring poetry to a wider readership. This year’s panel was headed by the critic and broadcaster Bidisha, who said: ‘The work of the three winners, taken together, speaks of poetry’s power to bear witness, express new ways of seeing, and apply itself with endless versatility.’
Congratulations to Danez Smith who won the Forward Prize for Best Collection for Don’t Call Us Dead (Chatto Poetry); to Phoebe Power, winner of the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection for Shrines of Upper Austria (Carcanet); and to Liz Berry, whose poem ‘The Republic of Motherhood’ won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem (Granta).
Poems by the winners and all the shortlisted poets can be found in this year’s Forward Book of Poetry anthology, along with a selection of work from the highly commended poets from this year’s Forward Prize.