Book review: The Forward Book of Poetry 2014


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The Independent Culture

From new sorcerors (Hannah Lowe, Helen Mort) to master wizards (Anne Stevenson, Dannie Abse, Clive James), this latest gathering of poems shortlisted or commended for the Forward prizes spotlights the everyday magic of verse.

A hard-won everyday transcendence looms large (as in Hugo Williams's "From the Dialysis Ward", or Simon Armitage's "Poundland").

Relish too its fine balance (to cite Rosie Shepperd's almost Betjeman-esque tale of motel passion) of "seedy" (or earthy) narrative against "moments of lyrical stillness".