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A Thing of Beauty

23/09/2009
The Forward Book of Poetry 2010

The Forward Book of Poetry 2010

Yesterday, my copy of The Forward Book of Poetry 2010 arrived through the post. And a lovely job they’ve done of it too. The cover design is strong, elegant, and simple; the book is pleasantly thick and chunky in the hand. Indeed, the back cover proclaims it “the biggest yet” of the Forward books, with “a hotly debated selection of highly commended poems”. A delight to be in it, all round.

The maths is interesting too: Salt (my publisher, as if you hadn’t noticed!) has eight titles represented. Unless my arithmetic has suffered badly from a day at the office, that makes it the best represented press in the book, out ahead of Cape, Picador, Faber and Bloodaxe*. That’s great news for Chris and Jen. It just shows how Salt is now an integral part of the UK poetry publishing landscape.

There’s a strong showing too from other small presses, such as Wales’s Seren and London’s Penned in the Margins, with two titles represented in the anthology. It’s also good to see a poem from a Shearsman book, as well as a title from Scotland’s Two Ravens Press.

My personal obsession with this list is, of course, the first collection field. There are 21 first collections represented, including the shortlisted ones and The Ambulance Box. Six of us are Salt poets! Josephine Hart, chair of the judges, says in the foreword that there were 60 submissions for that category and tells those of us who didn’t make the shortlist that “it was truly a close run thing and … the history of literature endlessly proves judges to be wrong”, so a hearty slap on the back to everyone who made it into the anthology.

So, whooooo’s it gonna be?

*I make it three, five, five and seven respectively.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 28/09/2009 05:14

    Congratulations, Andrew.

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