The jury for the 2019 Forward Prizes, the UK’s most widely coveted awards for new poetry, were announced on 21 Jan 2019.
Shahidha Bari, presenter of BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking,will chair the judging panel. She is joined by Jamie Andrews, head of Cultural and Learning Programming at the British Library and the poets Tara Bergin, Andrew McMillanand Carol Rumens.
The Forward Prizes, whose winners have included Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Alice Oswald and Claudia Rankine, will be presented on Sunday 20 October 2019 at a public ceremony as part of Southbank Centre’s Poetry Internationalfestival. The awards are distinctive in honouring new voices alongside internationally established names, and in attracting youthful, diverse audiences. Last year Danez Smith, 29, became the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Best Collection prize.
The awards – worth a total of £16,000 – are sponsored by Bookmark Content, the global content and communications agency, and are run by the Forward Arts Foundation. They comprise the Forward Prize for Best Collection (£10,000), the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection (£5,000) and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem (£1,000).