Carson collects prize for staccato poetry

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

The Belfast poet and novelist Ciaran Carson was named the winner of the Forward Prize for poetry last night for a collection that links violence in his home city with war and uprisings overseas.

Carson's Breaking News is his ninth collection and tackles subjects ranging from the Indian Mutiny and the Crimean War, to car-bombings in Northern Ireland. Previous winners of the £10,000 prize have included Peter Porter, Sean O'Brien and Ted Hughes.

Carson's publisher, Peter Fallon, of The Gallery Press in County Meith, Ireland, said the poet's latest work was characterised by a radical change in style, involving short lines. "Carson is famous for a long, meandering line and this is quite a surprise for many people," he said. "I think it's an indication of his refusal to continue to do the same thing for ever and to be constantly restless."

Typical is "Breaking", a poem that describes the scene after the bomb squad has cordoned off a suspect vehicle


By Ciaran Carson

red alert

car parked

in a red


about to




so quiet

you can


hear it rust