We are delighted that Picador poets Ian Duhig and Denise Riley have been shortlisted for The 2016 Forward Prize for Best Collection.

This is the 25th year of the Forward Prizes for Poetry, one of the most coveted poetry awards in the UK and Ireland. The awards celebrate excellence in poetry and are awarded to published poets for work in print in the last year. Previous Forward Prizes winners include Don Paterson, Sean O’Brien, Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy and Kathleen Jamie.

Writer Malika Booker, who is joined on the Forward judging panel by the poets George Szirtes and Liz Berry, the singer/songwriter Tracey Thorn and Poetry magazine’s editor Don Share, said that this year’s contenders were writers 'who are challenging poetry, who are using the formal constraints but are really modern, really expanding what we know as poetry and what we know as the English language'.

Ian Duhig has been shortlisted for The Blind Roadmaker, a brilliant and eclectic collection exploring urban poverty, determinism, social justice and the consolations of poetry and music.

Read 'The Ballad of Blind Jack Metcalf' from the collection here.

Denise Riley has been shortlisted for Say Something Back, a deeply moving document of maternal grief and loss by one of our finest writers.

Read 'They saw you coming' from the collection here.

The Forward Prize for Best Collection Shortlist 

Vahni Capildeo – Measures of Expatriation (Carcanet)
Ian Duhig – The Blind Roadmaker (Picador Poetry)
Choman Hardi – Considering the Women (Bloodaxe Books)
Alice Oswald – Falling Awake (Cape Poetry)
Denise Riley – Say Something Back (Picador Poetry)

See the shortlists in full here.

The winners will be announced on 20 September, when the 25th annual Forward Book of Poetry, containing the judges’ choice of the year’s poems, will also be published. 

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