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|
|Awarded for||Best Collection (£10,000); Best First Collection (£5,000); Best Single Poem (£1,000)|
|Sponsored by||Forward Worldwide, Arts Council England, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The estate of Felix Dennis|
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
- 2021: Luke Kennard, Notes on the Sonnets (Penned in the Margins)
- 2020: Caroline Bird, The Air Year (Carcanet Press)
- 2019: Fiona Benson, Vertigo and Ghost (Cape Poetry)
- 2018: Danez Smith, Don't Call Us Dead (Chatto & Windus)
- 2017: Sinéad Morrissey, On Balance (Carcanet Press)
- 2016: Vahni Capildeo, Measures of Expatriation (Carcanet Press)
- 2015: Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Penguin Books)
- 2014: Kei Miller, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (Carcanet)
- 2013: Michael Symmons Roberts, Drysalter (Cape Poetry)
- 2012: Jorie Graham, PLACE (Carcanet Press)
- 2011: John Burnside, Black Cat Bone (Jonathan Cape)
- 2010: Seamus Heaney, Human Chain (Faber and Faber)
- 2009: Don Paterson, Rain (Faber and Faber)
- 2008: Mick Imlah, The Lost Leader (Faber and Faber)
- 2007: Sean O'Brien, The Drowned Book (Picador)
- 2006: Robin Robertson, Swithering (Picador)
- 2005: David Harsent, Legion (Faber and Faber)
- 2004: Kathleen Jamie, The Tree House (Picador)
- 2003: Ciarán Carson, Breaking News (Gallery Press)
- 2002: Peter Porter, Max is Missing (Picador)
- 2001: Sean O'Brien, Downriver (Picador)
- 2000: Michael Donaghy, Conjure (Picador)
- 1999: Jo Shapcott, My Life Asleep (Oxford University Press)
- 1998: Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters (Faber and Faber)
- 1997: Jamie McKendrick, The Marble Fly (Oxford University Press)
- 1996: John Fuller, Stones and Fires (Chatto & Windus)
- 1995: Sean O'Brien, Ghost Train (Oxford University Press)
- 1994: Alan Jenkins, Harm (Chatto & Windus)
- 1993: Carol Ann Duffy, Mean Time (Anvil Press)
- 1992: Thom Gunn, The Man with Night Sweats (Faber and Faber)
Best First CollectionEdit
- 2021: Caleb Femi, Poor (Penguin Poetry)
- 2020: Will Harris, RENDANG (Granta Books)
- 2019: Stephen Sexton, If All the World and Love Were Young (Penguin Books)
- 2018: Phoebe Power, Shrines of Upper Austria (Carcanet Press)
- 2017: Ocean Vuong, Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Jonathan Cape)
- 2016: Tiphanie Yanique, Wife (Peepal Tree Press)
- 2015: Mona Arshi, Small Hands (Liverpool University Press)
- 2014: Liz Berry, Black Country (Chatto & Windus)
- 2013: Emily Berry, Dear Boy (Faber and Faber)
- 2012: Sam Riviere, 81 Austerities
- 2011: Rachael Boast, Sidereal (Picador Poetry)
- 2010: Hilary Menos, Berg (Seren Books)
- 2009: Emma Jones, The Striped World (Faber and Faber)
- 2008: Kathryn Simmonds, Sunday at the Skin Launderette (Seren Books)
- 2007: Daljit Nagra, Look We Have Coming to Dover! (Faber and Faber)
- 2006: Tishani Doshi, Countries of the Body (Aark Arts)
- 2005: Helen Farish, Intimates (Jonathan Cape)
- 2004: Leontia Flynn, These Days (Jonathan Cape)
- 2003: A. B. Jackson, Fire Stations (Anvil Press)
- 2002: Tom French, Touching the Bones (The Gallery Press)
- 2001: John Stammers, The Panoramic Lounge Bar (Picador)
- 2000: Andrew Waterhouse, In (The Rialto)
- 1999: Nick Drake, The Man in the White Suit (Bloodaxe Books)
- 1998: Paul Farley, The Boy from the Chemist is Here to See You (Picador)
- 1997: Robin Robertson, A Painted Field (Picador)
- 1996: Kate Clanchy, Slattern (Picador)
- 1995: Jane Duran, Breathe Now, Breathe (Enitharmon Press)
- 1994: Kwame Dawes, Progeny of Air (Peepal Tree Press)
- 1993: Don Paterson, Nil Nil (Faber and Faber)
- 1992: Simon Armitage, Kid (Faber and Faber)
Best Single PoemEdit
- 2021: Nicole Sealey, "Pages 22–29, an excerpt from The Ferguson Report: An Erasure" (Poetry London)
- 2020: Malika Booker, The Little Miracles (Magma)
- 2019: Parwana Fayyaz, Forty Names (PN Review)
- 2018: Liz Berry, The Republic of Motherhood (Granta)
- 2017: Ian Patterson, "The Plenty of Nothing" (PN Review)
- 2016: Sasha Dugdale, "Joy" (PN Review)
- 2015: Claire Harman, "The Mighty Hudson" (TLS)
- 2014: Stephen Santus, "In a Restaurant" (The Bridport Prize)
- 2013: Nick MacKinnon, "The Metric System" (The Warwick Review)
- 2012: Denise Riley, "A Part Song"
- 2011: R. F. Langley, "To a Nightingale" (London Review of Books)
- 2010: Julia Copus, "An Easy Passage"
- 2009: Robin Robertson, "At Roane Head"
- 2008: Don Paterson, "Love Poem for Natalie 'Tusja' Beridze" (Poetry Review)
- 2007: Alice Oswald, "Dunt" (Poetry London)
- 2006: Sean O'Brien, "Fantasia on a Theme of James Wright" (Poetry Review)
- 2005: Paul Farley, "Liverpool Disappears for a Billionth of a Second" (The North)
- 2004: Daljit Nagra, "Look We Have Coming to Dover!" (Poetry Review)
- 2003: Robert Minhinnick, "The Fox in the National Museum of Wales" (Poetry London)
- 2002: Medbh McGuckian, "She is in the Past, She has this Grac" (The Shop)
- 2001: Ian Duhig, "The Lammas Hireling"
- 2000: Tessa Biddington, "The Death of Descartes"
- 1999: Robert Minhinnick, "Twenty-five Laments for Iraq"
- 1998: Sheenagh Pugh, "Envying Owen Beattie"
- 1997: Lavinia Greenlaw, "A World Where News Travelled Slowly"
- 1996: Kathleen Jamie, "The Graduates"
- 1995: Jenny Joseph, "In Honour of Love"
- 1994: Iain Crichton Smith, "Autumn"
- 1993: Vicki Feaver, "Judith"
- 1992: Jackie Kay, "Black Bottom"
- Forward Arts Foundation. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- Bayley, Sian (25 October 2021). "Kennard, Femi and Sealey win Forward Prizes for Poetry". The Bookseller. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
- "Bird's 'The Air Year' wins Forward Poetry Prize". Books+Publishing. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
- "Forward Prizes for Poetry 2018". Forward Prizes for Poetry. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- "Forward Prizes of Poetry 2017 Winners". Forward Arts Foundation. 21 September 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
- Cain, Sian (21 September 2015). "Trinidadian poet Vahni Capildeo wins 2016 Forward prize for poetry". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- Brown, Mark (28 September 2015). "Claudia Rankine's Citizen wins Forward poetry prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- Davies, Caroline (30 September 2014). "Kei Miller wins Forward poetry prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- Flood, Alison (1 October 2012). "Jorie Graham takes 2012 Forward prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 October 2012.