Forward Publishing, £8.99, 120pp £8.54 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Forward Book of Poetry 2012
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 21 October 2011
To time-poor readers, poetry can seem to bear no weight at all; a passing fancy or (as John Burnside puts it here) a thin shadow, "something chill and slender in this world".
Thanks to the annual Forward anthologies, slender and yet crammed with colour and flavour, ultra-busy poetry-dodgers can catch the year's best. Burnside joins fellow-winners and shortlistees, along with commended poems from the likes of Les Murray and Lavinia Greenlaw, Daljit Nagra and Wendy Cope, in a gathering that feels both nifty and hefty.
Dip and flip, even randomly, and many pieces will leave you both cleansed and replenished – like the listener to a nightingale in RF Langley's winner for "best poem": "I am/ empty, stopped at nothing, as/ I wait for this song to shoot".
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 3 Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Mike Tindall, Jodie Kidd and co take to the slopes
Game of Thrones: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' goes viral 35 years later
Churchill: The Nation's Farewell, TV review: Paxman reveals truth behind crane docker tribute, but delivers a fitting honour to Winston
Read Tom DeLonge's open letter about Blink 182 split: 'Our relationship got poisoned'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia