Daljit Nagra shortlisted for The Forward Prizes for Poetry 2007

Daljit Nagra shortlisted for The Forward Prizes for Poetry 2007

The shortlists for the sixteenth annual Forward Prizes for Poetry, the UK’s most valuable poetry prizes, with the winners being announced on Wednesday 3rd October

Daljit Nagra, shortlisted for the Best First Collection prize, is a previous winner of the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.

The short lists are:

The Forward Price for Best Collection

£10,000 – sponsored by the Forward Arts Foundation

John Burnside Gift Songs Jonathan Cape

Eavan Boland Domestic Violence Carcanet

Sean O’Brien The Drowned Book Picador

Adam Thorpe Birds with a Broken Wing Jonathan Cape

Luke Kennard The Harbour Beyond the Movie Salt Publishing

Jack Mapanje Beasts of Nalunga Bloodaxe

The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection

£5,000 – sponsored by Felix Dennis and the Forward Arts Foundation

Joanna Boulter Twenty Four Preludes & Arc Publications

Fugues on Dimitri Shostakovich

Melanie Challenger Galatea Salt Publishing

Daljit Nagra Look We Have Coming to Dover! Faber & Faber

Eleanor Rees Andraste’s Hair Salt Publishing

The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in memory of Michael Donaghy

£1,000 – sponsored by the Forward Arts Foundation

David Harsent The Hut In Question Poetry Review

Lorraine Mariner Thursday The Rialto

Alice Oswald Dunt Poetry London

Carole Satyamurti The Day I Knew I The Interpreter’s House

Wouldn’t Live Forever

Myra Schneider Goulash The North

Jean Sprackland The Birkdale Nightingale Poetry Review

Michael Symmons-Roberts, award winning poet, novelist and librettist, is the chair of the judges for this year’s Forward Prizes. He is joined by Radiohead star Colin Greenwood, poet and playwright Glyn Maxwell, poet and performer Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze and the Guardian Unlimited Books Editor, Sarah Crown.

The Prizes were founded by William Sieghart in 1992 to raise the profile of contemporary poetry. Worth a total of £16,000, the Forward Prizes reward both established and up-and-coming poets.

Michael Symmons-Roberts, chair of the judges, comments:

“These shortlists demonstrate the breadth and depth of poetry being written today. Every year is a tough year for the Forward judges, because British and Irish poetry is in such good health, but we were delighted – and daunted – by the power and diversity of this year’s entries. Our shortlists are long to reflect something of the range of books brought to the table by different members of the judging panel. Our final decisions will be hard but with shortlists like these the winners will be remarkable.”

William Sieghart, Chairman of the Forward Arts Foundation, comments:

“An exciting year with new poets being shortlisted along side some of the most respected of their generation. The Forward Prizes champion new voices and it’s thrilling to see a relatively unknown winner of the Best Single Poem prize now shortlisted for the Best First Collection prize. I’m encouraged to see that for a second year running, there is a huge presence of small presses on both the Best Collection and the Best First Collection shortlists, who are offering a platform for poets with exceptional futures.”

The winner of the Forward Prizes will be announced on Wednesday 3 October 2007, on the eve of National Poetry Day, at a ceremony in London.

The Forward Prize for Best Collection
£10,000 – sponsored by the Forward Arts Foundation

Eavan Boland Domestic Violence Carcanet

Eavan Boland was born in Dublin on 24th September 1944 and educated in London, New York, and Dublin. She received her BA from Trinity College, Dublin in 1966 and her first book was published in 1967. Since that time she has held numerous teaching positions and published over ten books and poetry collections and numerous journal articles. In 1994 she was poet in residence at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin.

She has received numerous awards for her writing including a Lannan Foundation Award in Poetry and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award. She was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 1994 with In a Time of Violence (Carcanet). She is Mabury Knapp Professor at Stanfrod University where she is director of the Creative Writing Programme and she divides her time between California and Dublin, where she lives with her husband, the novelist Kevin Casey.

For information contact Eleanor Crawforth at Carcanet on 0161 834 8730

John Burnside Gift Songs Jonathan Cape

Poet and novelist John Burnside was born on 19th March 1955 in Dunfermline, Scotland. He now lives in Fife. He studied English and European Languages at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology. A former computer software engineer, he has been a freelance writer since 1996. He is a former Writer in Residence at Dundee University and now teaches at the University of St Andrews.

His first collection of poetry, The Hoop, was published in 1988 and won a Scottish Arts Council Book Award. Then came Common Knowledge (1991), Feast Days (1992), winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, The Asylum Dance (2000), winner of the Whitbread Poetry Award which was also shortlisted for both the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the T. S. Eliot Prize that year. The Light Trap (2001) was shortlisted for the 2002 T. S. Eliot Prize. His most recent poetry collection, The Good Neighbour (2005), was shortlisted for the 2005 Forward Prizes for Best Collection.

John Burnside is also the author of a collection of short stories, Burning Elvis (2000), and several novels, including The Dumb House (1997), The Mercy Boys (1999), The Locust Room (2001), Living Nowhere (2002) and The Devil’s Footprints (2007). His memoir, A Lie About My Father, and a Selected Poems were published in 2006.

For more information contact Zoe Hood at Jonathan Cape on 020 7840 8400

Luke Kennard The Harbour Beyond the Movie Salt Publishing

British poet, playwright and academic, Luke Kennard was born on 28th June 1981. At 26 years old, he is the youngest ever poet to be shortlisted for the Forward Prizes for Best Collection.

His first collection of prose poems The Solex Brothers was published by Stride Books in 2005. He won an Eric Gregory Award the same year. The Harbour Beyond The Movie is his second collection. His work for theatre has been performed in London, Bristol and Birmingham. He is part of the comedy collective, Pegabovine, and has won awards with them for comic writing at the National Student Drama Festival in Scarborough. He has worked as regional editor for Succour, a bi-annual journal of poetry and short fiction and as an associated reader for The Kenyon Review. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2005. He is married and lives and works in Exeter.

For more information contact Jennifer Hamilton-Emery at Salt on 01223 882 220

Jack Mapanje Beasts of Nalunga Bloodaxe

Jack Mapanje is a poet, linguist, editor and human rights activist, born in Malawi on 25th March 1944. He received the 1988 Rotterdam Poetry International Award for this first book of poems, Chameleons and Gods (1981) and the USA’s Fonlon-Nichols Award for his contribution to poetry and human rights. Former head of Department of English at University of Malawi, he was imprisoned in the notorious Mikuyu Prison for over three years without trial or charge by dictator Hastings Kamuzu Banda and his inner circle, largely for his radical poetry and views. He was released in 1991.

As well as five poetry books, he has published three anthologies, Oral Poetry from Africa (Londgman, 1983), Summer Fires: New Poetry of Africa (Heinemann, 1983) and The African Writer’s Handbook (African Book Collective, 1999), and edited Gathering Seaweed: African Prison Writing (Heinemann, 2002). He has held residencies in the Netherlands, Ireland and Britain, including three years for the Wordsworth Trust, Cumbria where most of the poems for this collection were written. He now lives in exile in York with his family, and is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing in the School of English at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

For more information contact Rebecca Hodkinson at Bloodaxe on 01434 240 500

Adam Thorpe Birds with a Broken Wing Jonathan Cape

Poet, playwright and novelist Adam Thorpe was born in Paris on 5th December 1956 and grew up in India, Cameroon and England. After graduating from Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1979, he started a theatre company touring villages and schools before moving to London where he taught Drama and English Literature. He was awarded an Eric Gregory Award in 1985. His first collection of poetry, Mornings in the Baltic (1988), was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Award that year. His three other collections are Meeting Montaigne (1990), From the Neanderthal (1999) and Nine Lessons From the Dark (2003).

Thorpe’s first novel Ulverton (1992) won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize in 1992. He has also written Still (1995), Pieces of Light (1998), Shifts (2000), Nineteen Twenty-One (2001), No Telling (2003), The Rules of Perspective (2005) and most recently a collection of short stories, Is This The Way You Said? (2006). A new novel, Between Each Breath is published by Jonathan Cape this year.

Adam is also the author of five plays for BBC Radio, including The Fen Story (1991), Offa’s Daughter (1993) and An Envied Place (2002), as well as a stage play, Couch Grass and Ribbon, first performed in 1996.

Adam Thorpe lives in France with his wife and three children.

For more information contact Zoe Hood at Jonathan Cape on 020 7840 8400

The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection
£5,000 – sponsored by Felix Dennis and the Forward Arts Foundation

Joanna Boulter Twenty Four Preludes & Fugues Arc Publications

on Dimitri Shostakovich

Joanna Boulter was born in 1942 and grew up in Wiltshire. She read Music, English and Latin at London University and graduated in 1963. After a brief teaching career, she worked for a typesetting firm before moving to Singapore, Malaysia and Teheran with her husband. She now lives in Darlington.

Her poetry has earned her a Tyrone Guthrie Fellowship from Northern Arts, a Northern Promise award from New Writing North, and a Hawthornden Fellowship. In 2002 she gained an MA in Writing Poetry, with Distinction, from Newcastle University, and the following year won first prize in the Poetry London competition. Previous publications include three pamphlets: Running With The Unicorns (The Bay Press, 1994), On Sketty Sands (Arrowhead Press 2001), and The Hallucinogenic Effects of Breathing (Arrowhead Press 2003). She is a founder member of the Darlington women’s writing co-operative Vane Women, teaches a women’s writing class, and works as an editor. Twenty Four Preludes and Fugues on Dmitri Shostakovich is her first full-length collection.

For information contact Tony Ward at Arc Publications on 01706 812 338

Melanie Challenger Galatea Salt Publishing

Melanie Challenger is an award-winning writer of both poetry and prose. Her collaboration with Bosnian war diarist, Zlata Filipovic includes Stolen Voices, a collection of young people’s war diaries published in 2005, which has been translated internationally. As a librettist, she created an oratorio based on the Diary of Anne Frank for British composer James Whitbourn, Annelies, which was broadcast on BBC Two in 2005 as part of the National Holocaust Memorial, and performed in full at Cadogan Hall, London, to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp by British forces. She received the 2005 Society of Author’s Eric Gregory award for poetry.

For more information contact Jennifer Hamilton-Emery at Salt on 01223 882 220

Daljit Nagra Look We Have Coming to Dover! Faber & Faber

Daljit Nagra was born and raised in West London by his Punjabi parents. He then moved to Sheffield and currently lives in Willesden where he works in a secondary school. The title poem of this collection, Look We Have Coming to Dover!, won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2004.

For more information contact Katherine Armstrong at Faber on 020 7465 7582

Eleanor Rees Andraste’s Hair Salt Publishing

Eleanor Rees was born in Birkenhead, Merseyside in 1978. She has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Sheffield and MA Creative Writing: Poetry from University of East Anglia. Her pamphlet Feeding Fire (Spout, Huddersfield) received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 2002.

Her poems have been widely published in magazines and journals. She is a member of The Word Hoard, a writers collective in Huddersfield and teaches creative writing and other literature courses part -time at Manchester Metropolitan University, Hope University College and Liverpool University Continuing Education. She also works for The Windows Project in Liverpool running writing workshops in the community and as a fundraiser. She lives in Liverpool.

For more information contact Jennifer Hamilton-Emery at Salt on 01223 882 220

The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in memory of Michael Donaghy
£1,000 – sponsored by the Forward Arts Foundation

David Harsent The Hut in Question Poetry Review

David Harsent was born in Devon in 1942. He has published nine collections of poetry, and his Selected Poems appeared in 1989. His collection, Marriage, was a Poetry Book Society Choice and was short-listed for both the Forward and T.S. Eliot Prizes in 2002. His most recent collection, Legion, won the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2005. His collaborations with the composer Harrison Birtwistle have included a libretto, Gawain (Royal Opera House), and a song cycle, The Woman and the Hare (Southbank Centre and Carnegie Hall). Penguin publishes Harsent’s successful Stella Mooney crime fiction series, which he writes under the pseudonym of David Lawrence. He lives in London.

For more information contact Kate Burton at Faber & Faber on 020 7465 7554

Lorraine Mariner Thursday The Rialto

Lorraine Mariner was born in 1974 and grew up in Upminster, Essex, where she still lives. Mariner studied English at Huddersfield University and Library and Information Studies at University College, London. She works at the Tate Library and Archive at Tate Britain but started writing poetry while in Huddersfield. Her first pamphlet Bye for Now was published by The Rialto in 2005.

For more information contact Michael Mackmin at The Rialto on 01263 733470

Alice Oswald Dunt Poetry London

Alice Oswald, 40, now lives in Gloucestershire and is married with three children. Her first collection, The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile, was a Poetry Book Society Choice, and her second, Dart, won the T.S. Eliot Prize in 2002. In 2004, Alice was named as one of the Poetry Book Society’s ‘Next Generation’ poets. Her latest collection, Woods etc. (Faber, 2005) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the T. S. Eliot Prize that year.

For more information contact Maurice Riordan at Poetry London on 020 7639 2276

Carole Satyamurti The Day I Knew I The Interpreter’s

Wouldn’t Live Forever House

Carole Satyamurti is a poet and sociologist who lives and works in London. She teaches at the University of East London, and at the Tavistock Clinic, where her main interest is relating psycholanalytic ideas to the stories people tell about themselves, whether in formal autobiography or everyday encounters. In 1997, she was writer in residence at the University of Sussex, and is currently running workshops on Art and Poetry at the National Gallery, London with Gregory Warren Wilson. Carole won the National Poetry Competition in 1986, and published four books of poetry with Oxford University Press: Broken Moon (1987), Changing the Subject (1990), Striking Distance (1994) and Selected Poems (1988). The first and third of these books were Poetry Book Society Recommendations.

For more information contact Merryn Williams at The Interpreter’s House on 01865 511 259

Myra Schneider Goulash The North

Myra Schneider was born in 1936 in North London and grew up in Gourock on the West coast of Scotland, in south London and West Sussex. She studied English at London University but her passion for writing started as a child.

Her first book was a children’s novel called Marigold’s Monster (Heinemann 1976), followed by two novels for teenagers If Only I could Walk and Will The Real Pete Roberts Stand Up. Her first collection of poetry was published in 1984 and her eighth collection, and most recent, Multiplying The Moon was published by Enitharmon in 2004. Myra is the widely acclaimed author of Writing My Way Through Cancer (Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2003) and co-author of the bestselling handbook Writing for Self-Discovery (Vega Books, 2002). She has been running writing workshops and courses since 1988 and is currently a tutor for the Poetry School in London, where she lives.

For more information contact Janet Fisher at The Poetry Business on 01484 434 840

Jean Sprackland The Birkdale Nightingale Poetry Review

Jean Sprackland was born on 19th May 1962 and brought up in Burton-on-Trent but now lives in Southport, Merseyside. She studied English and Philosophy at the University of Kent at Canterbury before teaching. She began to write poetry at the age of 30 and has held residencies in schools and universities, and is a tutor for the Arvon Foundation. She also works in education, training and consultancy for organizations, including the Poetry Society and the Poetry Archive. In 2004 she was one of the judges of the Arvon International Poetry Competition.

Her first poetry collection was Tattoos for Mothers Day (1997), was shortlisted for the 1998 Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and her second collection, Hard Water (2003), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, was shortlisted for the 2003 T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award. In 2004 Jean Sprackland was named by the Poetry Book Society as one of the ‘Next Generation’ poets. With Mandy Coe, she wrote Our Thoughts are Bees: Working with Writers and Schools (2005). Her third collection of poetry, Tilt is published by Jonathan Cape in October.

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