Wednesday, 10 July 2013


  Delighted to hear that a poem from Human Form has been Highly Commended in the Forward Prize 2013 and will be reprinted in the Forward anthology which comes out on October 1st when the winners are announced. 'At Llantwhit Beach' doesn't seem the most natural choice and there would be quite a few others in the book I would nominate in its place but I'm certainly not complaining. It's nice that Claire Trevien - fellow Penned-poet I launched with - also had a poem Highly Commended, 'The Shipwrecked House II'. Interesting that both poems are ostensibly about the sea - do the judges perhaps think in terms of themes for the anthology?
  There's an article about judging the competition by Sheenagh Pugh here.http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2013/jul/08/judging-forward-prizes-for-poetry and the full shortlist can be read here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jul/08/forward-poetry-prize-shortlists-2013.
The choices for Best Book seem fairly predictable and something of a step back from the bolder list last year when Jorie Graham's PLACE won. The First Book six seem a bit more adventurous: I'm only familiar with Emily Berry's book so can't comment too much on the others.


  1. "Interesting that both poems are ostensibly about the sea - do the judges perhaps think in terms of themes for the anthology?"

    No, they don't. Some of the anthology poems were chosen by us all at the meeting but we each got to choose 6 all by ourselves afterwards. The two you mention were among my picks and I just happen to like sea poems, I guess. I wasn't even conscious of it at the time, but then I wasn't conscious that many of my own poems mention the sea until a school student asked me why it was...

  2. You can't have enough sea-poems can you? You could make a great anthology - Dover Beach, Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking, The Bight, On a Raised Beach, Edgar's 'Do you hear the sea?' speech in Lear, Le Cimetiere Marin, The Idea of Order at Key West, Tennyson's 'Break, break, break' etc. - if someone hasn't already done so.