Forward Publishing, £8.99
Book review: The Forward Book of Poetry 2014
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Friday 27 September 2013
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".
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