Forward Prizes for Poetry

The Forward Prizes for Poetry are major British awards for poetry, presented annually at a public ceremony in London. They were founded in 1992 by William Sieghart with the aim of celebrating excellence in poetry and increasing its audience. The prizes do this by identifying and honouring talent: collections published in the UK and Ireland over the course of the previous year are eligible, as are single poems nominated by journal editors or prize organisers. Each year, works shortlisted for the prizes – plus those highly commended by the judges – are collected in the Forward Book of Poetry.

Forward Prizes for Poetry
Forward Prizes for Poetry Logo.png
Awarded forBest Collection (£10,000); Best First Collection (£5,000); Best Single Poem (£1,000)
Sponsored byForward Worldwide, Arts Council England, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The estate of Felix Dennis
LocationUnited Kingdom

The awards have been sponsored since their inception by the content marketing agency Bookmark, formerly Forward Worldwide. The best first collection prize is sponsored by the estate of Felix Dennis.

The Forward Prizes for Poetry will celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2021.


The Forward Prizes for Poetry consist of three awards:

  • The Forward Prize for Best Collection, £10,000
  • The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection, £5,000
  • The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in memory of Michael Donaghy, £1,000

The Prizes are run by the Forward Arts Foundation, which is also responsible for National Poetry Day. The executive director of the Forward Arts Foundation is Susannah Herbert.[1]

Previous winnersEdit

Best CollectionEdit

Best First CollectionEdit

Best Single PoemEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Forward Arts Foundation. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Bayley, Sian (25 October 2021). "Kennard, Femi and Sealey win Forward Prizes for Poetry". The Bookseller. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Bird's 'The Air Year' wins Forward Poetry Prize". Books+Publishing. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "Forward Prizes for Poetry 2018". Forward Prizes for Poetry. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Forward Prizes of Poetry 2017 Winners". Forward Arts Foundation. 21 September 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  6. ^ Cain, Sian (21 September 2015). "Trinidadian poet Vahni Capildeo wins 2016 Forward prize for poetry". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  7. ^ Brown, Mark (28 September 2015). "Claudia Rankine's Citizen wins Forward poetry prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  8. ^ Davies, Caroline (30 September 2014). "Kei Miller wins Forward poetry prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Flood, Alison (1 October 2012). "Jorie Graham takes 2012 Forward prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 October 2012.

External linksEdit