Thursday, 23 July 2009

Forward Prize shortlist

The shortlists for this year's Forward Prizes have been announced, and I'd have to say I'm a bit underwhelmed.

I'm really pleased to see Sian Hughes on the Best First Collection list, and Lorraine Marriner, but on the whole the judges seem to have played it all very safe. I'm a fan of a lot of Glyn Maxwell's work, but I don't think this collection is anywhere near his best, and I've heard much the same about the Hugo Williams book (I'll still buy it, though!).

The judges do their usual thing of noting the "rude health" of the UK poetry scene, but I don't think their lists really back that up at all. I'm not asking for them to be packed full of wildly experimental work (hardly my thing either), but it would be nice to see more than a token nod in the direction of smaller presses, more women on the main list, and fewer of the usual suspects.

Anyway, all sorts of discussion is already going on here. Join in.

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