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Forward Book of Poetry 2010

Chosen from work shortlisted or commended for its prizes, the annual Forward anthology allows poetry backsliders to purge their negligence via a wholly enjoyable communion with the best of contemporary verse.

As with the Man Booker, this year's final-round contenders for "best collection" roll-calls fixed stars, among them Don Paterson, Peter Porter, Sharon Olds, Hugo Williams and eternally witty Peter Porter (who compares the works of Shakespeare with Tracey Emin's Bed).

Promising future lumnaries include JO Morgan, Emma Jones and Meghan O'Rourke, while a formidable roster of commended single poems has tremendous longer pieces by Mimi Khalvati – the beautiful elegy "Afterword" - and William Wall, with his chilling airport dystopia "Job in Heathrow". As O'Rourke's "Palimpsest" has it, "This is the point of life:/ you really care". And of poetry, too.