Winners of the 2018 Forward Prizes Announced

September 20, 2018

On September 18, during a ceremony held at the Royal Festivities Hall in London, the Forward Arts Foundation announced the three winners of the 2018 Forward Prizes for Poetry. The Prize for Best Collection (£10,000) was awarded to Danez Smith for Don’t Call Us Dead (Chatto & Windus). The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection (£5,000) was awarded to Phoebe Power for Shrines of Upper Austria (Carcanet). The Prize for Best Single Poem (£1,000) was awarded to Liz Berry for “The Republic of Motherhood” (Granta).

Founded in 1991 by philanthropist William Sieghart, The Forward Prizes are among the most esteemed awards for poetry published in Britain and Ireland. Past prize winners include Seamus Heaney, Claudia Rankine, Alice Oswald, and Thom Gunn.

Three winnersHere is a list of the finalists for each award.

The Forward Prize for Best Collection

Vahni Capildeo – Venus as a Bear (Carcanet)
J.O. Morgan – Assurances (Cape Poetry)
Toby Martinez de las Rivas – Black Sun (Faber & Faber)
Danez Smith – Don’t Call Us Dead (Chatto & Windus)
Tracy K. Smith – Wade in the Water (Penguin UK)

The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection

Kaveh Akbar – Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Penguin UK)
Abigail Parry – Jinx (Bloodaxe Books)
Phoebe Power – Shrines of Upper Austria (Carcanet)
Shivanee Ramlochan – Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting (Peepal Tree Press)
Richard Scott – Soho (Faber & Faber)

The Forward Prize for Best Single Poem

Fiona Benson – “Ruins” (Wild Court)
Liz Berry – “The Republic of Motherhood” (Granta)
Sumita Chakraborty – “And death demands a labor” (PN Review)
Jorie Graham – “Tree” (London Review of Books)
Will Harris – “SAY” (The Poetry Review)



Photo Credit: Forward Arts Foundation

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